Stellantis NV said Monday that 539 additional employees across its U.S. manufacturing site will be “permanently terminated” following an operational assessment.
The automaker said it notified the affected workers Friday, who are part of a class of lower-paid workers known as contract workers at General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. The staff cuts took effect immediately. Stellantis says the job cuts are not layoffs and workers are not eligible for additional unemployment benefits.
“As part of our normal course of business, Stellantis regularly analyzes workforce levels at our manufacturing facilities to ensure they are operating as efficiently as possible,” the company said in a statement from spokeswoman Jodi Tinson. “This action will help improve the efficiency, productivity and market competitiveness of our facilities as we implement our Dare Forward 2030 strategic plan.”
The only plants not included are Trenton Engine, Dundee Engine and Toledo Machining in Ohio.
The job cuts follow a series of other moves Stellantis has taken in assessing its costs as the company undergoes a shift toward becoming a mobility technology company with electric vehicles that are more expensive to produce than their internal combustion engine counterparts, and after a record deal with the company was signed by United Auto Workers. At the beginning of the month it was said that the Chicago Auto Show in February would be canceled in order to use media money as efficiently as possible. Additionally, there will be no Super Bowl commercials this year. U.S. sales fell 1% last year, in contrast to growth in the rest of the industry.
In a statement, UAW President Shawn Fain said: “We negotiated to get the company to convert nearly 3,000 temporary workers, resulting in life-changing raises and benefits for thousands of families.” We also got them to end the ongoing abuse of so-called To end “temporary workers”. Companies have played the divide-and-conquer game for years, and now they're doing it again, inflicting suffering on the lowest-paid workers and blaming the union.
“Stellantis can afford to do the right thing here and pave the way to good full-time jobs in the automotive industry, but is again choosing to line the pockets of executives and shareholders. These workers have generated Stellantis' record profits, and there is absolutely no need to lay off a single one of them.”
The new layoffs are in addition to up to 2,453 temporary layoffs announced at the Mack Assembly Plant in Detroit, where Stellantis builds Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs, and 1,225 layoffs at the Toledo Assembly Plant in Ohio, home of the Jeep Wrangler SUV and the Gladiator midsize pickups, according to the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notices to their respective states; The automaker had suggested the total could be significantly lower, particularly in Detroit. These layoffs will remain in effect as of February 5th.
According to the WARN letters, hundreds of those layoffs are likely to include unskilled workers. Before the UAW negotiations, these workers made up about 12% of Stellantis' 43,000 U.S. hourly workers, the bulk of the Detroit Three. Supplemental workers received some of the biggest gains in the new contract ratified in November, including a nine-month grace period to full-time employment, a starting salary of $21 an hour and access to profit sharing and benefits.
Stellantis also announced in November that it would offer buyouts to 6,400 U.S. employees. The company did not disclose how many employees accepted this offer.