TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Fiat-Chrysler (FCA) announced it is laying off 852 employees, temporarily, from its Toledo Assembly Complex. The layoffs are expected to occur in seven waves, beginning on April 13 and running through June 8. An FCA spokesperson says the layoffs are related to the end of production of the previous generation Wrangler and the retooling for the Jeep truck.
The news comes on the same day that KUKA Toledo Production Operations announced the closing of its facility at 3770 Stickney. That closure is expected to be temporary and should last no longer than six months. According to a notice filed with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, a skeleton crew of bargaining and non-bargaining employees will remain in their positions throughout the closure. This temporary closure impacts 344 employees.
Earlier this year, Toledo Molding & Die announced it would be closing its facility on Phillips Avenue. According to a Work Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act notice, the closure is due to Fiat-Chrysler's (FCA) decision to award the next generation Jeep Wrangler production of the instrument panel assembly to Detroit Manufacturing Systems. That closure impacts 120 employees.
Prior to that, Mobis North America announced plans to temporarily shut down. A human resources representative with the company says the move is to allow the company to prepare for the new Jeep pickup truck. The temporary shutdown will result in 572 layoffs. The employees impacted by the move range from production assemblers to managers and administrative positions.
A spokesperson for UAW Local 12 previously said the employees were made aware of these previously upcoming layoffs since negotiations with Fiat Chrysler in 2015. The temporary layoffs are part of the move to shift Wrangler production to the Toledo North Assembly Plant and remodel the Toledo South plant to build the new Jeep Wrangler pickup truck. The move is expected to create around 700 new jobs in the complex.
In addition to the temporary layoffs, UAW local 12 says, without consulting the union, FCA announced it would outsource work from the Toledo Terminal facility. Drivers from the terminal pick up auto parts made around the region and deliver them to Jeep workers in Toledo who put them in vehicles made here.
Union members say they want the chance to fight for their jobs. They're asking Fiat-Chrysler to sit down and bargain so they have a chance to continue to transport freight for the company. FCA maintains that it has been discussing the changes at the Toledo Terminal with the UAW for more than two years.
FCA spokesperson, Jodi Tinson, sent 13abc this statement from the company, which reads in full: "FCA US respects the rights of Local 12 to rally in support of their members, but maintains our position that we have been discussing the Toledo Terminal wind down with UAW leadership for over two years. As has been previously communicated, it is the intention of FCA US to find employment opportunities for all impacted Toledo FCA Transport employees. There will be no loss of jobs with this action. The Toledo Assembly Complex continues to add hundreds of new jobs to support Wrangler production and future production of the all-new Jeep truck."