US: Amid UAW Strike, GM Idles Fairfax Plant In Kansas

(MENAFN- IANS) Chicago, Sep 21 (IANS) General Motors (GM) Co. on Thursday idled its Fairfax plant in US state of Kansas where 2,000 hourly employees work due to Detroit-based United Auto Workers (UAW) strike.

"It is unfortunate that the UAW leadership's decision to call a strike at Wentzville Assembly has already had a negative ripple effect, with GM's Fairfax Assembly plant in Kansas being idled today and most of its represented team members leaving the plant as there is no work available," the Detroit News quoted GM as saying in a statement Wednesday.

The layoff is due to a shortage of stamped parts supplied by Wentzville's stamping operations to Fairfax. Employees will not receive supplemental pay from GM while they're laid off, Xinhua news agency reported.

Ford Motor Co. and Stellantis NV face the same problem.

Stellantis on Wednesday said it was immediately laying off 68 workers at its machining plant as a result of the UAW's strike at its Toledo Jeep plant in Ohio. Hundreds more at the Toledo machining facility could be laid off soon if the strike does not stop.

The automaker further anticipates another estimated 300 layoffs at Kokomo Transmission and Kokomo Casting plants in Indiana, according to a statement sent by Stellantis spokesperson Jodi Tinson.

Ford already temporarily laid off the rest of 600 workers at its Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne last Friday.

Unifor, a union representing the Big Three U.S. autoworkers in Canada, and Ford had struck a tentative agreement Tuesday night in the 24-hour extended negotiations after their previous contract expired at Monday midnight, averting a strike for the Dearborn-based automaker.

Details on the deal won't be released until after they are shared with Unifor members at ratification meetings to be held "in the near future," according to a news release.

The deal between Unifor and Ford put additional pressure on the UAW's negotiations with the Big Three U.S. automakers, which have yielded no significant breakthroughs by Wednesday.

Besides a 20-percent wage increase offered last Thursday, GM's current offer to the UAW comes with no plant closure. In an opinion piece in the Detroit Free Press on Wednesday, GM President Mark Reuss called his company's contract proposal a record offer, saying the union's demands would be "untenable."

The UAW is spreading "myths" about what GM can afford and what it's offering, Reuss said. GM's offer "recognizes the many contributions our represented team members make to our company - past, present and future."





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