Chicago-area Ford plant announces layoffs amid UAW strike

The ongoing United Auto Workers strike took a new turn Tuesday, as 240 workers at a Ford stamping facility in suburban Chicago Heights were furloughed by the company.

Ford says the layoffs are a consequence of the United Auto Workers strike, saying in a statement:

“Our production system is highly interconnected, which means the UAW’s targeted strike strategy has knock-on effects for facilities that are not directly targeted for a work stoppage. In this case, the strike at Chicago Assembly Plant has directly impacted some operations at Chicago Stamping Plant and Lima Engine Plant.”

Chris Pena is the president of Local 551. He says the layoffs were expected, and more could be on the way.

Parts plants, engine plants, stamping plants are all connected to the major assembly plants,” said Pena. “We are going to sacrifice as long as long as it takes. We are digging in and ready for the long haul.”

The United Auto Workers Union launched a targeted nationwide strike Sept. 15 against the big three auto makers.

Workers at the Ford assembly plant on Torrence Avenue in Chicago put down their tools and walked off the job last Friday.

In a statement about continuing negotiations, Ford says they are continuing to engage UAW leadership in talks of a new contract, but there is no word on when the stoppage may end.

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