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66 Maintenance Workers Lose Jobs At Kansas City, Kansas, GM Plant Due To UAW Strike

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The Fairfax assembly plant in Kansas City, Kansas, employs more than 2,400 workers.

In a ripple effect of the General Motors strike, now in its second week, 66 maintenance workers have been laid off from their jobs at the Fairfax assembly plant in Kansas City, Kansas.

Jones Lang LaSalle Americas Inc., a commercial real estate firm that provides maintenance services at the plant, said in a letter to the United Auto Workers that the workers were “not deemed critical to operations during this period of labor unrest.”

The affected employees are represented by the union, which is pushing for higher wages, fewer temporary workers and increased job security, among other issues.

“I can confirm that they are housekeeping-slash-janitorial suppliers at the plant,” said David Barnas, a GM spokesman.

Wednesday was the 10th day of the strike, the first nationwide walkout at GM since 2007 and already the longest against the company since 1970. Some 46,000 workers at more than 30 GM plants have walked off the job.

The Fairfax assembly plant employs more than 2,400 workers and produces the Chevy Malibu sedan and the Cadillac XT4 crossover SUV.  

Jones Lang LaSalle filed a notice last week under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act of 1988 (Warn Act) that it was laying off the janitorial employees.

In its letter to the UAW, which was signed by managing director John M. Krieger, Jones Lang LaSalle also said that “(c)ompanies that are signatory to our agreement will also be laying off their UAW represented employees.”

It’s not clear what other companies the letter was referring to. But in addition to the Fairfax plant, the letter said that affected locations included GM assembly plants in Lansing and Lake Orion, Michigan, and a powertrain plan in Romulus, Michigan.

The layoffs at the Fairfax plant took effect on Sept. 16.

Dan Margolies is a senior reporter and editor at KCUR. You can reach him on Twitter @DanMargolies.

As a reporter covering breaking news and legal affairs, I want to demystify often-complex legal issues in order to expose the visible and invisible ways they affect people’s lives. I cover issues of justice and equity, and seek to ensure that significant and often under-covered developments get the attention they deserve so that KCUR listeners and readers are equipped with the knowledge they need to act as better informed citizens. Email me at dan@kcur.org.
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