Hundreds of Workers on Strike at Lear Corp. Plant

HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) – Hundreds of workers demanding higher wages walked off the job Saturday at a Lear Corporation plant in northwest Indiana that makes automotive seats, beginning a strike that could affect a major Ford assembly plant in Chicago.

The plant, in Hammond, employs 760 workers making seats for the Explorer and Taurus models produced at Ford's Chicago Assembly Plant. The Ford plant could be vulnerable to any serious supply chain disruption because it operates on a just-in-time basis, meaning it receives parts sometimes just hours before installing them in vehicles rather than warehousing them on site.

Saturday's strike shut down the Lear plant, according to a statement from the United Auto Workers. All the plant's workers walked off the job and around 400 of them were on the picket line Saturday after two months of contract negotiations.

A Lear spokesman did not return a call seeking comment Saturday.

Workers complain they are earning fast-food-like wages.