KANSAS CITY, Kan. — After being idle for more than seven months, General Motors restarted production of the Cadillac XT4 on Monday at the Fairfax Assembly and Stamping Plant in Kansas City, Kansas.
According to U.A.W Local 31 representative, about 1,400 employees out of 2,000 have returned to work after a difficult few years.
"The strike of 2019 fed right into the pandemic and now the pandemic feeds right into the layoff," Clarence E. Brown, president of U.A.W. Local 31 said.
On Feb. 8, 2021, work stopped at the Fairfax Plant, but the assembly line is now moving.
"I don't think words can explain it, we've been through quite a bit of down time," Brown said.
General Motors anticipates production on the Chevrolet Malibu to begin again on Nov. 1, potentially bringing back more employees.
"People are enthused and very, very, excited to be back and just get some normalcy, no matter if it's for a week, two weeks or four weeks, they're just glad to be back and I'm happy to be a part of that normalcy," Anthony Walker, employee assistance program representative said.
According to Walker, having a sense of normalcy back helps with employees mental health.
"The mental health part has been stressful and strenuous, through anxiety with COVID-19, the unknown of job uncertainty, things like that have been very stressful," Walker said.
The U.A.W. Local 31 is remaining optimistic about the future.
"I have to believe that we're going to get a product," Brown said. "I have to believe that we're going to do something because these members depend on me and the rest of this leadership to try and do that with all the power we have."