by Rebecca Tombaugh
Employee notifications began with a reduction from three shifts to two, says Mary Padilla, spokesperson at General Motors Fairfax Assembly Plant in Kansas City, Kansas.
Padilla said this will cause the least impact to workers. Lower demand for passenger cars is the reason, and she said GM is switching to the crossovers, which are increasing in demand.
Late Friday, Mark Holland, Mayor and CEO of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, issued this statement:
“Upon hearing news of layoffs at General Motors’ Fairfax Assembly Plant, my first concern was for the workers and their families. Today, I reached out to the United Autoworkers Union #31 to express that concern and to let them know that we are ready to help in any way we can to minimize the impact on the workers and their families.
“No community likes to receive news of a major employer laying off employees. We are fortunate in Kansas City, Kansas, to have a strong partnership with GM. That partnership has helped GM invest $800 million in its Fairfax plant since 2009. I am hopeful that GM will remain strong and that the Fairfax plant will grow back to its full employment capacity very soon.
“We are also fortunate that the Unified Government, in partnership with Wyandotte Economic Development Council, has worked hard for more than a decade to diversify our economy so we can protect against downturns in specific sectors. In recent years, we have seen the growth of our health care, service, corporate, and small to mid-size manufacturing sectors, with 11,000 jobs added in just the last four years. I am confident that this work will continue to create a healthy economy in Wyandotte County and help us find new opportunities for the affected GM employees.”