Automotive supplier eagle industries braces for workforce reduction amid UAW strike uncertainty

26.09.2023 posted by Admin

Strike impact. Eagle industries precautionary measures

Eagle Industries Inc., an automotive parts supplier, has submitted official documents to the state of Michigan, alerting them to a potential workforce reduction as a result of the United Auto Workers' strike against the Detroit Three automakers.

In a notice sent on Thursday, the company stated that they might have to temporarily lay off 171 of their employees, out of a total of 230, who work in production and administration at their Wixom plant. This action is being taken due to unexpected challenges in their business operations. The company also mentioned that the number of affected workers may change in response to evolving business conditions.

Eagle's President, John Bull, emphasized that this filing is merely a precautionary measure and clarified that the 171 workers at risk are part of the company's hourly workforce. He added that any potential layoffs resulting from the UAW strike would impact approximately 33% of their hourly workforce, which translates to around 55-60 individuals. However, he stressed that they are currently in a hiring phase and have no immediate plans for layoffs based on the existing circumstances.

Eagle Industries specializes in producing foam products for the automotive industry and other sectors, including their popular "EagleZorb" products used in various vehicle components to reduce noise and enhance safety in case of accidents. Bull estimated that they are a supplier for about 75% of the vehicles produced by the Detroit Three automakers.

"Our primary goal is to manufacture quality parts, retain our workforce, and continue expanding our business," Bull commented. "We hope for a prompt resolution to the strike."

Other suppliers have also issued WARN notices due to the ongoing strike, and the automakers themselves have had to lay off hundreds of workers at plants that rely on components from facilities affected by the strike. For instance, General Motors Co. recently laid off approximately 140 UAW-represented workers at its Toledo Propulsion Systems facility because of the strike at GM's midsize truck plant in Wentzville, Missouri. This Toledo plant manufactures parts for eight-speed transmissions used in trucks produced at Wentzville. While most of the Toledo plant's employees will continue working as they manufacture parts for other products, this situation has created a ripple effect, according to GM.

Meanwhile, negotiations involving 146,000 workers between the UAW and the Detroit Three automakers are ongoing. President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump are scheduled to visit Michigan, which is expected to draw significant attention to the strike that is now in its 11th day. This strike involves General Motors Co., Ford, and Stellantis NV, the maker of Jeep. The UAW initially began the strike at one assembly plant in each of these companies, marking the first simultaneous strike against all three automakers. Over the weekend, discussions with Ford were described as "very active" by a UAW source.

President Biden plans to join a picket line in Michigan on Tuesday, following an invitation from UAW President Shawn Fain. Trump is scheduled to visit an auto supplier in Clinton Township on Wednesday.

"The visits from these two presidents will strengthen our cause because you have both a former and a current president advocating for us," explained Wayne Barracks, a team leader at Stellantis' engine plant. "They may have differing viewpoints, but having them both supporting us is a positive development. We can use all the help we can get, and their support is valuable."
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