Autoworkers in the U.S. ramped up their strike Friday in a move that’s expected to have knock-on effects for Canadian parts producers.
The expanded strike saw United Auto Worker members walk out at 38 General Motors GM-N and Stellantis STLA-N parts-distribution centres in 20 states, adding 5,600 workers to the 13,000 who began strikes last week at three Ford F-N, GM and Stellantis assembly plants.
Sam Fiorani, vice-president of global vehicle forecasting at AutoForecast Solutions, says he expects Canadian parts suppliers to be either directly or indirectly affected by any shutdowns, whether they’re assembly plants or parts distribution centres.
Canadian companies operating in the U.S. have already been affected by the strike, with Magna International Inc. MG-T confirming they’ve temporarily laid off about 650 employees at a seat producer that suppliers one of the affected plants.
The expanded strike in the U.S. spared Ford from further action as UAW president Shawn Fain says the union has had progress in negotiations with the company.
In Canada, Ford averted a strike by reaching a tentative deal with Unifor on Tuesday that members will vote on this weekend.