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UAW Strike Hitting Automaker, Ford Worries About Long-Term Impact

Ford scion worries that the UAW strike will harm the industry.


Now entering its second month, the United Auto Workers (UAW) strike against the Detroit 3 is beginning to be felt nationwide.

Supplier Sites Authorized

For example, the UAW authorized walkouts against parts suppliers in places like Kentucky and Massachusetts, two states not usually associated with the UAW and its actions, but with picket lines up in front of the plants in those states. And, Ford, which has been gearing up to reach production of 150,000 F-150 Lightning trucks this year at its recently expanded Rouge Electrical Center where the Lightnings are produced, has just shut down one shift of work at the plant and laid the workers off.

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Slowly, the effects of the UAW strike are moving out nationwide, and vehicle industry leaders are worried. No less a person than Bill Ford, who once worked in the Massachusetts office as a very young auto executive, is worried about the strike's impact.

Monday, the executive chair of the automaker “implored UAW leaders” to halt their strike before it begins to hurt the economy. Further, he said that if the UAW didn’t end the strike, it could “cripple the automaker’s ability to compete against the likes of Tesla and Toyota.”

Remarks Made At Historic Site

Automotive News, the industry’s leading news resource, reported Ford's remarks. The Ford leader made his remarks at the ‘historic Rouge Complex in Dearborn, Mich.” The Rouge plant was Ford’s first production plant in 1915, where the automaker perfected the assembly line techniques of the industry.

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Ford, in making his remarks, said the vehicle industry was “at a crossroads” in the strike and in this “round of contract negotiation.”

It’s About The Future of the Industry

“"Choosing the right path is not just about Ford's future and our ability to compete," he said. "This is about the future of the American automobile industry. Toyota, Honda, Tesla, and others love this strike because they know the longer it goes on, the better it is for them. They will win, and all of us will lose."

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Marc Stern has been an automotive writer since 1971. His automotive articles have appeared in venues including Popular Mechanics, Mechanix Illustrated, AutoWeek, SuperStock, Trailer Life, Old Cars Weekly, Special Interest Autos, and others. You can follow Marc on Twitter or Facebook.