Ford lays off more workers at Sharonville plant in response to UAW strike
A second round of layoffs at Ford's Sharonville transmission plant means 660 United Autoworkers there are off the job, at least until the company comes to an agreement with the union on a new contract.
Ford announced the layoffs of about 330 employees Monday after an initial round of layoffs earlier this month.
UAW Local 863 President Tod Turner says those layoffs are in response to a wide-ranging strike by the union.
The Sharonville plant supplies transmissions to Ford's Louisville truck plant, where workers are among the 40,000 UAW members across the country participating in the strike.
"Kentucky truck is a huge customer of ours," he said. "We knew when they were going out on strike that it would have an effect on our plant."
Turner says the Sharonville employees laid off are eligible for strike pay and expect to regain their jobs when a contract agreement is reached. Many, he said, will be joining GM workers on the picket line in West Chester. Others will opt for community service to meet requirements to be eligible for the strike pay.
"We've known for a long time that this is something we may end up having to do," he said. "Our members were well aware of what could happen, and they understand the sacrifices they need to make to get the contract that we deserve."
There are roughly 1,750 UAW members working at Sharonville, Turner said. The rest remain on the job.
The UAW is seeking a 36% raise for its workers over the next four years; restoration of cost of living increases; pensions and benefits workers gave up to get the automakers through the Great Recession; and the end to a tiered wage system that workers say has some new employees starting as low as $17 an hour.
In negotiations, automakers have offered lower raises — 20% from Ford and GM and about 17% from Stellantis, which owns the Chrysler Company. They say the rate unions are seeking would force them to raise prices on their vehicles, making them more expensive than their global competition.
Like Ford, GM has laid off workers at some plants as production decreases due to the strikes.