Ford temporarily lays off workers at Kansas City plant following supplier fire

About 3,600 union workers at Ford Motor Co.’s Kansas City Assembly Plant are on temporary layoff this week because of a parts shortage following a fire at a Michigan-based supplier.

The workers will be furloughed May 7-14, according to Ford and the UAW.

The layoffs affect 3,600 workers who build the F-150 pickup. Workers who build Transit vans are not affected.

Workers will receive about 80 percent of their take-home pay for the hours they’re losing this week, Ford said.

The parts shortage resulted from a fire at a 208,000-square-foot plant owned by Meridian Lightweight Technologies last week. The Lansing State Journal reported that two people were injured and more than 150 workers were evacuated due to the fire and ensuing explosions.

Meridian produces instrument panel components at the plant, with annual production of around 13,140 net metric tons (14,484 tons), the supplier’s website said.

Mercedes-Benz, one of Meridian’s other clients, said some of its operations were not affected by the incident. However, at other shops, Mercedes “will temporarily halt production through midweek until an assessment and recovery plan is confirmed,” a spokesperson told Automotive News in an email.



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