'We're standing strong': UAW workers in day 20 of strike confident in their demands

Ford’s Livonia Transmission Plant is the latest auto-making facility to see layoffs, due to the UAW's ongoing strike of the Big Three - now wrapping up day 20.

Ford says 350 workers at Livonia Transmission, and 50 at the Sterling Axle Plant will be out of work, as the auto industry preps for another Friday update from union officials which could escalate the number of workers picketing.

"So far it’s beating us down a little bit but we’re standing out here strong," said Daniel Hell.

Hell is a team leader at Ford Michigan Assembly in Wayne. He says news of the new Ford layoffs will not sway them in the fight for higher pay.

"You know until we solidify what we want, I think this is going to continue," he said. "I think our president is leading us in a good direction right now. I think he’s making the message loud and clear and we will continue to make more plants join us to stand up and strike. So if that means this Friday, next Friday, three Fridays after that, whatever it takes."

The restoration of pensions is included in their demands, even though some auto analysts say such a move would break the Big Three.

"This is coming from multi billion-dollar companies that - the money that these guys make and bring in - that we contribute to these guys bringing in - is, it’s record-breaking," Hell said. "They say that they can’t afford it and I don’t believe that. I I think that.it’s costing them more money right now for us being out here as opposed to just giving us what we want - pension included."

Related: UAW strike may be starting to affect Detroit's Big Three finances

In the meantime industry insiders like former auto supply chain executive Jan Griffiths, say Friday’s update from the UAW could deepen the hole, making it harder to climb out of.

"First of all, it’s important that people understand that this supply chain is interconnected," she said. "Does Shawn Fain feel that we’ve made enough progress in the negotiations or will he shut more plants down? My fear is that as this continues to escalate, that he will now go for the high-running plants, high-running vehicles and that will be even more pain for the supply base."