Preparing for strike related layoffs in Mid-Michigan

Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 8:18 PM EDT
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CORUNNA, Mich. (WILX) - The United Auto Workers (UAW) strike against Ford, General Motors and Stellantis is in its fourth day with no signs of a resolution. UAW President Shawn Fain says despite negotiations continuing over the weekend, not much progress was made.

Right now, there are about 13,000 workers on strike at a Ford plant in Wayne, a Stellantis plant in Toledo, and a General Motors plant in Missouri.

A few days ago, auto supplier CIE Newcor filed a layoff warn notice with Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency. The notice details a possible layoff for nearly 300 employees in Shiawassee and Lapeer counties. Those layoffs are a possibility as the UAW fights for increased pay and benefits for its almost 150,000 members.

“We’ll see how things progress the next few days, and if we have to amp up pressure, that’s what we’re gonna do,” said Fain.

Mid-Michigan auto workers have begun making signs, trying to anticipate what’s next in the strike.

Ford and General Motors laid off 26,000 employees last Friday as ripple effects from plant shutdowns continue. Now, other related industries are worried about what an extended strike could mean for them.

“The manufacturers may say, ‘well, we don’t need so many parts, so we’re gonna lay you off for a while.’ They may not do that, I don’t know, because they could just keep making those parts and stockpile them for later,” said Michelle Kaminski, an associate professor at Michigan State University’s (MSU) School of Human Resources & Labor Relations.

A representative with CIE Newcor tells News 10 they’re not anticipating any layoffs yet, but they filed the warning notice with Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance agency just in case it gets to that point. As a supplier to the automotive industry, CIE Newcor says they wanted to prepare in case the strike impacts their work.

“Really, things are still status quo, moving slowly. We had some meetings over the weekend, but we still have a long way to go, and that’s going to be up to the companies on how this plays out,” said Fain.

Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency says the layoff notices are a courtesy to impacted workers “regardless of the level of certainty of workforce reductions.”

“If suppliers believe the strikes may trigger workforce reductions, it is suggested that a WARN be submitted to LEO-WD in an effort to monitor activity and prepare to assist workers.” said a representative with the agency.

Any potential layoff or temporary closure depends on the strike’s duration. If you believe you may be at risk of a layoff, you can find resources by clicking here. 

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