Wixom Automotive Supplier Warns of Possible Redundancies

Another auto supplier has filed documents warning that three-quarters of its Michigan workforce could be laid off amid a strike by the United Auto Workers against the Detroit Three automakers.

Eagle Industries Inc. said in a notice to the government printed Thursday that 171 of the 230 workers at its plant in Wixom could be temporarily laid off in production and administration “as a result of unforeseen business circumstances.” In the announcement, the company said the estimated workforce is subject to change “due to evolving business circumstances.”

The Detroit News on Monday sent a message to the human resources manager at Eagle Industries.

According to its website, the company’s focus is on foam products for the automotive industry and others. Products such as “EagleZorb” are used on vehicle doors, trim and other areas to reduce noise in the vehicle and prevent injuries in the event of a collision. The company’s website does not mention the names of its clients, but SPE Automotive DivisionAn organization that awards technical achievements in the field has identified the use of Eagle parts in Ford vehicles.

Other suppliers have issued warning letters as a result of the strike, and automakers themselves have laid off hundreds of workers.

Meanwhile, negotiations between the UAW and Detroit’s three automakers continued Monday ahead of planned visits to Michigan by President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump.

General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co. And the visits were expected to attract even greater attention on the 11th day of a strike against Jeep maker Stellandis NV. The Detroit-based union on Friday expanded the action to 38 GM and Stellantis parts distribution centers in 20 states, initially striking a single assembly plant at each company, the union’s first simultaneous strike against all three.

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Biden is expected to picket in Michigan on Tuesday, following a call by UAW President Sean Fine on Friday. Trump is scheduled to meet with an auto supplier in Clinton Township on Wednesday.

“Those visits increase our credibility because you have a former president and a current president speaking on our behalf,” said Wayne Barracks, 53, of Trenton, a team leader at Stellandis’ engine plant. “They’re both on different sides. We need all the help we can get. If they’re both on our side, that’s good.”

Further: UAW, Detroit three automakers stand on key issues

However, not all auto workers are enthusiastic about the presidential guests, whose support was part of the key demographics that led to their respective victories in 2016 and 2020.

“I wish none of them would come,” said Jason Deister, 42, of Rockwood, who works in Ford’s stamping operation at the Bronco and Ranger plant in Wayne, which is on strike. “They come here for a photo. They want their vote, it doesn’t matter to them. They are not part of the union or the big three. Stay in your lane.”

Although his workplace, the Michigan Assembly plant, is the only Ford facility on strike, Deister added that the progress the union has made in negotiations with Ford has given workers like him hope.

“Ford seems to be coming to the table and negotiating in good faith,” he said. “From what we’ve heard, they’ve agreed on the majority of things. You can feel it at work, everyone seems very excited. No one wants to be on strike.”

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Ford’s proposals to the union included converting current temporary workers with more than 90 days of experience to full-time, an “enhanced” profit-sharing formula that would be extended temporarily, plant closings, and the right to strike over wages and health care. According to the UAW, the coverage is up to two years if severance and cost-of-living adjustments are reinstated.

Biden and Trump weren’t the only guests at the picket this week. U.S. Rep. John James, R-Shelby Township, took to the social media site X, formerly known as Twitter, to bring breakfast to striking UAW members in his district Monday.

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X: @BreanaCNoble

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