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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.”

Laura Ziegler / KCUR 89.3

At a stop in Kansas City, Kansas, on Sunday, former Vice President Joe Biden stood on the bed of a black Chevy Z71 pickup and told several hundred striking United Auto Workers he was one of them.

“I’m Joe Biden and I am UAW,” he said to cheers and applause outside the General Motors' Fairfax plant. “My dad sold those vehicles. That’s how I got through school."

Harley-Davidson

Motorcycle company Harley-Davidson is closing its assembly plant in the Northland, which employs about 800 people. Layoffs will start later this year and there'll be full closure by the third quarter of 2019, according to a news release.

Missouri unions assess losses, victories on May Day

May 1, 2017

International Workers’ Day, often marked by protests, marches and celebrations by organized labor, may be muted in Missouri this year due to restrictions passed by the state legislature.

“We’ve definitely taken a few hits this year, there’s no doubt,” said Pat White, president of the St. Louis Labor Council AFL-CIO.

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

Again and again during his time in office, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon returned to Magna Seating, an automotive parts manufacturer in Excelsior Springs.

“Well, this is a plant that’s taken a hit and kept on ticking,” Nixon said Friday during his statewide farewell tour. “It’s bigger and stronger than it was before.”

Nixon says the first time he visited the plant, workers were still making seats for the Ford Escape. But by 2012, Ford had shifted production of the Escape to Louisville, and Magna Seating was close to shutting down.

The United Auto Workers union is threatening to shut down Ford’s Claycomo assembly plant, with a strike that could start this weekend.  

Ford and union negotiators are at loggerheads over a number of issues specific to the Claycomo plant.  They involve the health and safety of workers and seniority for employees who do specialized jobs.

Ford-UAW Test Could Affect KC Worker Health Care

Jun 24, 2013
Dan Verbeck / KCUR

Ford Motor and the United Auto Workers Union today rolled out a pilot health care program that might ultimately affect  workers at the Kansas City Claycomo Assembly Plant.

The program would help the chronically ill and was also expected to reduce health care costs.

Ford, the union and the union’s retiree health care trust revealed the program at the company’s Dearborn, Michigan headquarters.

If it works in Michigan, Ford’s head of labor affairs Marty Mulloy said it could be used in places like Kansas City or Louisville, which have larger numbers of retirees. 

GM To Sink $600 Million Into KCK Plant

Jan 28, 2013
Dan Verbeck / KCUR

General Motors has committed to a more than half billion dollar investment into its assembly plant in the Fairfax District of Kansas City, Kansas.