UAW strike could affect thousands of Kansas City auto workers. Here’s the latest

The United Auto Workers union is set to go on strike at midnight Thursday, but workers at two major Kansas City employers don’t know yet if they will be walking the picket lines.

Shortly before the union’s contract expires, the UAW is expected to announce which plants will be affected by the “targeted” strike.

In Kansas City, Kansas, the General Motors Fairfax assembly plant produces the Chevy Malibu sedan and the Cadillac XT4 crossover SUV. It employs 2,234 people, according to a company website.

In Claycomo, the Ford assembly plant 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.

Late Wednesday, in an online address, UAW President Shawn Fain said the automakers continue to reject some of the union’s demands.

“We do not yet have offers on the table that reflect the sacrifices and contributions our members have made to these companies,” Fain said. “To win we’re likely going to have to take action. We are preparing to strike these companies in a way they’ve never seen before.”

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

UAW Local 249, which represents members at the Claycomo plant, posted Wednesday on X — formerly known as Twitter — instructions if a strike occurred.

“If the plant is struck, you will be instructed to leave the Plant by UAW Local Leadership,” an attachment in the post read.

Members were also given a strike schedule.

“In the event of a strike, all active members must participate in strike duties to be eligible for strike assistance,” the attachment said. “Your strike duties have been assigned to you by the Local Strike Committee. Participation may be picket duty, strike information classes or any other strike related assignment.”

Local union leaders could not be reached for comment Thursday.