Assembly plant in Kansas City, Kansas, could close next week amid strike, GM says

Hundreds of auto workers in Kansas City, Kansas, will likely be laid off next week as General Motors said Friday that employees striking at a St. Louis area plant could lead to the Fairfax assembly plant’s closure.

The assembly plant in Wentzville, Missouri, provides stamped parts to Fairfax, but because of striking there, the Wyandotte County plant and its “2,000 team members” can expect to “be idled” as soon as next week, the company said in a statement published by numerous news outlets, including the Detroit Free Press.

“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,” General Motors said in the statement. “What happened to our Fairfax team members is a clear and immediate demonstration of that fact.”

Amid labor negotiations with Detroit’s three automakers, the United Auto Workers union said Thursday it would go on strike at three vehicle assembly plants: the one in Missouri; a Ford factory in Wayne, Michigan, near Detroit; and a Stellantis Jeep plant in Toledo, Ohio.

A union leader at the KCK plant could not be reached for comment Friday.

The Fairfax assembly plant, in northeast KCK along the Missouri River, produces the Chevy Malibu sedan and the Cadillac XT4 crossover SUV. It employs 2,234 people, according to a company website.

The other local plant, the Ford assembly plant in Claycomo, produces F-150 pickup trucks and Transit vans. It employs roughly 7,250 people.

The union and Detroit’s three automakers remain far apart in contract talks, the Associated Press reported Thursday afternoon. The UAW is demanding a 36% boost in pay and the automakers — General Motors, Ford and Stellantis, formerly Fiat Chrysler — have countered with offers that are roughly half of that increase.

The strike is the first against all three companies at the same time in the union’s 80-year history.