Cindy Estrada: "Challenge Manufacturing workers stuck together through difficult bargaining to achieve their first contract."
Workers at a Kansas City factory that supplies General Motors on Tuesday ratified their first UAW-bargained contract with a nearly unanimous vote.
Those workers at Challenge Manufacturing voted 195-1 to approve the contract, according to UAW Local 710 Vice President Jeff Schweedler. The ratification vote comes after a nearly three-week strike at the plant, which supplies welded assemblies to the General Motors Fairfax Assembly Plant, where the Chevrolet Malibu and Buick LaCrosse are built.
The strike had no impact on production at the Fairfax plant, GM spokesman Tom Wickham said.
Schweedler said the contract brings workers’ salaries at the plant up to at least $15 per hour, putting it on par with other plants owned by the supplier in Walker, Mich. He said the contract also secures gains in health care and addresses concerns with working conditions at the plant, including workers being supplied with improper gloves that led to cuts.
Challenge Manufacturing did not respond to a request for comment.
“Challenge Manufacturing workers stuck together through difficult bargaining to achieve their first contract,” UAW Vice President Cindy Estrada said in a statement. “The solidarity they demonstrated led to significant economic gains and workplace protections.”
The supplier was wooed to Kansas City in 2015 after the Kansas City Council recommended authorizing up to $56 million in taxable industrial revenue bonds for Challenge to locate in an existing building, according to the Kansas City Star newspaper.