UPDATED: Powertrain employees talk with News 11 - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

UPDATED: Powertrain employees talk with News 11

DEFIANCE, TOLEDO -- Nearly 3,000 employees are without work today after being laid off from Toledo Powertrain and the Defiance foundry plant.

The layoff is due to a strike by American Axle, one of General Motors' parts suppliers, reports News 11's Jennifer Boresz, who spoke with some folks at the UAW Local 14 hall on Monday.

Edwina Liszi isn't typically at the UAW Local 14 hall making phone calls. She's usually running machinery at the Toledo Powertrain plant, but today she joins hundreds of other workers trying to stay busy just hours after being temporarily laid off.

"The economy is going downhill fast and, yes, a lot of us are worried about our house payments and things like that," Liszi says, noting that this isn't the first time she's dealt with this kind of disappointment. 

"I've taken layoffs before and I've been through the unemployment and the sub pay and you don't know when your check's coming," Liszi says.

We spoke with the president of UAW Local 14 who says he's not sure when employees can head back to work. It all depends on resolving the strike between the UAW and American Axle.

"We hear today that they talked all day yesterday, they'll talk all day today so that's a good thing," says Ray Wood. "We just hope we get through it as soon as possible."

For now, workers still receive 95 percent of their benefits since it is a temporary layoff. 

"If they get a settlement there then obviously that's going to reflect on us, get our people back quicker. But if it's not settled, after 30 days we'll have to think of an extension or what our next course of action will be," Wood says.

After nearly 30 years as a GM employee, Liszi says she wants to get back to work as soon as possible.

"I've got to work. All of us have to work, or we wouldn't be here," Liszi says.

But for now, all she can do is wait for a resolution that will determine her future. Hundreds of workers in Northwest Ohio are closely following contract talks between the UAW and American Axle.

Five American Axle plants have been on strike against UAW since Feb. 26. The strike has led to a parts shortage for the Powertrain assembly plants.

Posted by KO

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