KANSAS CITY, Kan. — FOX4 is hearing from the team at the General Motors Fairfax plant for the first time. This comes after they were forced to shut down the assembly line.
That happened after another plant they depend on went on strike the very first day the last contract expired.
“Nobody wins in a strike.” That’s what General Motors said on the day the Fairfax plant was forced to idle nearly three weeks ago.
“When you see right now going on with the strike, it is completely unnecessary, and it is absolutely impacting the lives of not just of our employees, but it is also hitting communities, our suppliers, our stakeholders and our customers,” Michael Youngs, plant director at GM Fairfax, said.
It’s day 18 and still no deal as the UAW’s fight with the big three automakers — Ford, Stelantis and GM — rolls on.
Now the car company is taking the offensive, laying out what leaders said they offered: a record deal.
“We want to make sure that we come to a collective agreement that provides for our employees but also keeps a viable company in the future,” Youngs said.
The issues they say they tackled in their deal cover workers’ two main concerns, which are wages and job security. GM said it has offered a 20% raise, and while they say that’s fair, they still remain far apart from the union’s demand of 36%.
Youngs said, in the end, the goal is to make sure the company is not only paying its fair share, but is also viable for the future, especially as we move into an electric vehicle world.
“A strike benefits no one,” he said.
The GM plant in KCK isn’t striking, but because the Wentzville, Missouri, stamping plant is, the Fairfax plant no longer had the tools to continue assembling cars.
The union locally and nationally have been very clear about what they want, not only a 36% pay increase, but also to work 32-hour work weeks while being paid for 40 hours.
The local UAW 31 team has been very vocal in the days since they were forced to shut down, getting support from Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly and even some support from the other side of the state line with Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Quinton Lucas.
FOX4 reached out to UAW 31 by phone, text and stopped by their offices and have not gotten a response to what GM said Monday.
“I do hope this ends soon, and I would love to see the time where tomorrow I’m waking up and we’re able to get back to work because the team members we have in the plant are world class employees,” Youngs said.