Sterling Stamping to start layoffs

Sterling Stamping, which is next to the Sterling Heights Assembly truck factory but supports other plants as well, has around 2,000 hourly workers and 200 salaried workers—but that is apparently going to change. Stellantis confirmed to WXYZ of Detroit that “there will be indefinite layoffs” effective June 20. The goal is to “operate the plant in a more sustainable manner,” according to the radio station. No details have been released.

Sterling Heights stamping press, 2016
Sterling Heights stamping press, 2016

Update: The Macomb Daily quoted Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel as saying that the layoffs were due to supply chain issues. He did not have more specific information.

Sterling Stamping produces body sheet metal and assemblies such as hoods, roofs, lift gates, floor pans, and such. According to Allpar:

The stamping plant, originally built in 1965, was 2.7 million square feet in size; in 2008 it had 464 robots on its 254 acres. The plant employed 2,500 people in 2007, but just 1,830 people by May 2008. The plant was home to UAW Locals 1264, 889 and 412. In 2008, the plant made stampings and assemblies including hoods, deck lids, quarter panel, roofs, floor pans, and fenders for the Challenger, Sebring/Avenger, Ram, minivans, Grand Cherokee, and Liberty/Nitro… The largest stamping facility in the world, the roughly three million square foot plant was now able to produce around 82 million stampings a year, up by around 30% from its prior 62 million.

Servo tandem presses, the first of their kind at Sterling Heights and already installed at Warren Stamping earlier this year [see the image], are more reliable and use less power, while increasing production… As of late 2016, Sterling Stamping operated 19 major press lines, three blankers (coil-fed presses that shear or trim metal coils into shapes that are stacked and used in press lines) and four large progressive press lines (press lines using a single die with multiple stations to make parts at high speed), ranging from 400 to 4,000 ton capacity. The internal sub-assembly welding shop has over 720 robots. The plant processed nearly a half million tons of steel and 14,000 tons of aluminum annually, running on an alternative work schedule with 2,281 employees.

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