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Nearly 5,000 autoworkers have been laid off since UAW strike began

Detroit’s Big Three automakers continue to lay off hundreds of factory workers as the United Auto Workers strikereaches its fourth week.

General Motors on Monday idled a total of 155 workers at plants in Indiana, Michigan and Ohio, the company confirmed. Ford let go 537 workers in Michigan and Ohio, according to the latest numbers posted on X. Stellantis (the parent company of Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram) laid off 570 workers at plants in Indiana and Michigan as recently as October 6, the company confirmed Monday. To date, Ford has laid off a total 1,865 workers while GM has let go of 2,330 and Stellantis has released 640 — bringing the combined total of strike-related layoffs by the Big Three to roughly 4,835.

Automakers say they are forced to lay off those workers because their job tasks are tied to factories the UAW has called on to strike. Ford, GM and Stellantis have not disclosed if they plan to rehire those workers once the strike ends.

“While we are doing what we can to avoid layoffs, we have no choice but to reduce production of parts that would be destined for a plant that is on strike,” Bryce Currie, Ford’s vice president for Americas Manufacturing and Labor Affairs, said in a statement Monday. “Strike-related layoffs are an unfortunate result of the UAW’s strategy.”

The UAW launched its “stand-up strike”last monthwhen nearly 13,000 autoworkers halted work at Big Three assembly plants Michigan, Missouri and Ohio. TheUAW’s demandsinclude a 36% pay increase over four years; annual cost-of-living adjustments; pension benefits for all employees; greater job security; a faster path to full-time status for temporary workers; and afour-day work week. Automakers have responded by laying off thousands of non-union workers.

The layoffs are separate from the hundreds of workers let go by companies that supply parts to Ford, GM and Stellantis. LM Manufacturing, a Michigan company that makes seats for the Ford Bronco, temporarily laid off about 650 workers last month because of the UAW strike, CBS Detroit reported. Another supplier, Sodecia Automotive, said last week that it will temporarily lay off about 140 workers until late November, according to a companynotice.

GM reaches agreement in Canada

The strike bug stretched north of Michigan on Tuesday as GM workers in Ontario, Canada, walked off the job. Hours later, both sides reached an agreement with GM saying in a statement that work will resume at the company’s facilities Tuesday afternoon.

Lana Payne, president of the Unifor union, which represents more than 20,000 Canadian autoworkers at the Big Three said GM agreed to all items that it members fought for such as pensions, retiree income and converting temporary workers into permanent employees during the agreement.

The new agreement covers about 4,300 autoworkers at three GM facilities in Ontario.

UAW talks continue

Back in Michigan, UAW President Shawn Fain said last Friday that talks between the union and the Big Three are headed in the right direction— noting that GM has agreed to fold employees at itsforthcoming electric vehicle battery plantin Indiana into the UAW contract.

Automakers say they have madereasonable counteroffers. GM on Monday brought to the negotiating table a 20% wage increase, an 8% company contribution to employee retirement accounts and increasing temporary worker wages to $20 an hour.

Negotiations are continuing this week but neither side has signaled an end in sight. The longer the strike lasts, the deeper it hurts the nation, economists have said.

Three weeks of the UAW strike has so far cost the U.S. economy $5.5 billion, according to Anderson Economic Group, a Michigan consultancy firm. That figure includes Big Three losses at around $2.68 billion and $1.6 billion in losses for parts suppliers.

— The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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