Detroit — The UAW's strike against General Motors Co. is starting to ripple through the supply chain.
At least a handful of GM suppliers have temporarily laid off workers and slowed production as a result of the strike.
The strike has cost UAW members, workers at parts suppliers and small businesses that provide products and services to GM a combined $266 million in direct earnings, according to the Anderson Economic Group in East Lansing, Mich.
"These impacts grow larger each day as the effects of the strike spread across the nation's automotive manufacturing supply chain," the firm said in a statement.
Multiple suppliers said they could not discuss scheduling of production for GM under the terms and conditions of their contracts.
More than 46,000 hourly workers at GM plants have been on strike since Sept. 16 as the auto maker and UAW leaders negotiate a national labor contract covering wages, benefits and job security.
About 1,200 to 1,300 employees at three supplier plants that provide parts to GM's Flint Assembly plant in Michigan have been laid off because of the strike, said Duane Ballard, financial secretary for UAW Local 659.
Ballard said Lear Corp.'s Flint plant has been idled since the strike began, affecting about 600 workers. The plant makes seats for Flint Assembly, which builds heavy-duty Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups. A Lear spokeswoman declined to comment.
Ballard said 300 employees from Universal Dedicated, a company that sequences parts for Flint Assembly, and 300 to 400 workers at Android Industries, which assembles center consoles for the plant, also have been laid off. Representative from the two companies could not be reached for comment.
Cooper Standard Automotive Inc., which supplies plastic and rubber seals and hoses, among other products, to the automotive industry, said in an emailed statement when the strike was in its early stages that it produces parts based on the needs of its customers and schedules staffing according to incoming orders.
"As orders are impacted by the current UAW strike at GM, Cooper Standard will adjust staffing accordingly at its North America facilities that supply GM's U.S. assembly plants."
Freudenberg-NOK, another supplier of sealing components and other plastic and rubber products to the automotive industry, declined to comment on the strike.
About 300 workers also have been laid off at an Android Industries operation that supplies GM's crossover plant in Delta Township, Mich., near Lansing, said Jake Jacobson, chairman of the Avancez/Android Industries unit at UAW Local 652 in Lansing.
"My whole membership has been laid off since the strike" began, he said.
The Lansing Android Industries plant assembles cockpits and headliners for the Buick Enclave and Chevrolet Traverse, Jacobson said.
Jacobson said several other U.S. Android Industries plants that supply GM have been impacted by the strike and also are on layoff.
Jacobson said his members are eligible for state unemployment benefits while on layoff if they meet state requirements. He said it's been tough not knowing how long the strike will last.
"We support whatever the UAW negotiators are doing," he said, adding that while it's painful, "in the long run, it's going to be better for everyone."
ZF North America has adjusted production schedules, spokesman Tony Sapienza said, adding that the impact on its business is less severe than at other suppliers because of its diverse customer base. "We hope that both sides come to an agreement soon," Sapienza said.
Others warn of layoffs
Magna International has made sporadic, temporary layoffs at about half of its divisions in Canada and the U.S., based on the amount of GM business at each location, a spokeswoman said Tuesday.
Rather than layoffs, which are unpaid at Magna, some divisions have offered training during the production slowdown, she said.
"Where necessary, other plants have implemented short-term temporary layoffs on GM-specific programs and lines. We are continuing to monitor the situation and we remain hopeful for a quick resolution," the spokeswoman said.
Nexteer Automotive also warned last week that it would begin temporary layoffs unless the strike was resolved quickly.
As of Sept. 25, all unresolved contract issues had moved from subcomittees to the main bargaining table, Terry Dittes, vice president of the UAW's GM department, told workers in a letter.
GM and UAW leaders negotiated into the late evening on Sep. 26. Talks are scheduled to resume on Sept. 30.
Ballard said about 1,800 Local 659 members are striking against GM, including workers at GM's Flint Engine, Flint Metal Center, Flint Tool and Die and a nearby parts center. Janitorial employees at Aramark who service GM facilities also are on strike.
Ballard, who said he was part of UAW's 54-day Flint strike against GM in 1998, said there's excitement during the first few weeks of a strike but that workers' moods could change with rain and wet weather in the forecast as the strike continues.
So far, he said, "they are holding up fantastic."
Sarah Kominek, Alexa St. John and Michael Martinez, Automotive News staff, and Chris Sweeney, Rubber & Plastics News staff, contributed to this report.