KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Even though the General Motors Fairfax plant in Kansas City, Kansas, wasn’t called to strike, its workers will still be impacted.
Leaders at the Fairfax plant said they will still run out of parts to keep operating and could go idle as soon as next week.
The United Auto Workers union has members on strike at three factories as it presses Detroit companies to come up with better wage and benefit offers. One of those factories is a GM assembly plant in Wentzville, Missouri.
Less than one day into the strike, a spokesman for GM Fairfax said striking at the Wentzville plant has “already had a negative ripple effect.”
The Wentzville factory supplies critical stampings for Fairfax’s operations, according to the KCK plant.
The over 2,000 employees at Fairfax are already working under an expired agreement, and there are no provisions for company-provided “SUB-pay,” which is sometimes provided during temporary layoffs.
“We have said repeatedly that nobody wins in a strike and that effects go well beyond our employees on the plant floor and negatively impact our customers, suppliers and the communities where we do business,” the Fairfax plant spokesperson said.
Contracts between 146,000 auto workers and GM, Ford and Stellantis expired Thursday night.
The union has a list of demands, including 36% pay raises over four years, cost of living raises, and an end to different tiers of wages for workers. Ford and GM are offering 20% during the next contract while Stellantis’ last known offer was 17.5%.
UAW President Shawn Fain said Thursday night that more factories could be added to the strike list if negotiations don’t go the union’s way.
During what are expected to be segmented strikes at various plants, striking workers would receive $500 a week.
But that strike fund isn’t bottomless, and it’s not immediately clear if Fairfax workers will receive strike pay or be eligible for unemployment.
UMKC Economics Professor Dr. Sirisha Naidu told FOX4 it’s clear after laboring through the pandemic, workers are leveraging a labor shortage and trying to create more balanced work and personal lives.
“What’s driving members’ expectations are the Big 3’s profits. You can’t make $21 billion in profits in half a year and expect members to take a mediocre contract,” Naidu said. “I think the workers across various industries are making a stand and asking for a very small share of that profit.”