[In the player above, watch the Friday announcement from United Auto Workers President Shawn Fain calling for 7,000 more workers at auto plants in two states to join the union’s picket line.]
PARMA, Ohio (WJW) — The union leader representing workers at General Motors‘ Parma Metal Center told FOX 8 News that 130 employees were laid off Friday — a consequence of the United Auto Workers’ ongoing strike against the “Big Three” automakers, now in its third week.
In a video address on Friday morning, UAW President Shawn Fain called for 7,000 more workers — from GM’s Lansing Delta Township plant in Michigan and Ford’s Chicago Assembly Plant in Illinois — to join the union’s picket line. The walkouts were planned for noon Friday.
The Lansing plant, specifically, provides about 30% of the work for the Parma plant, Dan Schwartz, president of UAW Local 1005, told FOX 8 News. The Parma plant, however, has not yet been included in the union’s plans for targeted strikes at strategic facilities.
“I just tell them all the time: Stay safe, stay focused, stay together. Solidarity is the most important part of this,” Schwartz said.
The facility has more than 900 workers, who are paid a combined more than $93 million in taxable wages, according to its website.
“The city is going to take a hit. We are the second-biggest income tax provider for the city of Parma,” Schwartz said, later adding, “Nobody wants a strike, but this is what it’s going to take for us to get what we deserve.”
The automakers’ last known wage offers were around 20% over the life of a four-year contract, a little more than half of what the union has demanded, The Associated Press reported. Other contract improvements, such as cost of living increases, restoration of defined benefit pensions for newly hired workers and an end to tiers of wages within the union are also on the table.
A GM spokesperson issued a statement on Friday evening:
The UAW leadership’s decision to call a strike at GM Wentzville Assembly, and now GM Lansing Delta Township Assembly, continues to have negative ripple effects. Beginning Monday, October 2nd, a portion of GM’s Parma Metal Center and Marion Metal Center represented workforce will have no work available. The affected team members are not expected to return until the strike has been resolved. Since we are working under an expired labor agreement, there are no provisions for company-provided SUB-pay in this circumstance.
We have said repeatedly that nobody wins in a strike, and this is yet another demonstration of that fact. We will continue to bargain in good faith with the union to reach an agreement as quickly as possible.Statement from General Motors
The union went on strike Sept. 15 when it couldn’t reach agreements on new contracts with Ford, General Motors and Jeep maker Stellantis.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.