History of UAW Local 249

United Auto Workers Local 249, proud builders of the Ford F-150 pickup truck and the Ford Transit commercial van, represent approximately 12,000 active and retired workers at the Ford Motor Kansas City Assembly Plant. Working at Ford’s only dual assembly plant, Local 249 members build the highest number of vehicles produced annually in one plant in the United States. Our work generates thousands of jobs and millions in tax revenue for Missouri and the Kansas City Metro area, which has led to some of the best school districts and infrastructure in the state.

Local 249 members have a proud history. Starting in 1936, we were the first local to organize at Ford and, in January 1937, the first to be chartered by the UAW. On April 2, 1937, we were the first to carry out a successful sit-down strike at the company. After Ford initiated a three-year and seven-month lockout of UAW members at the Kansas City Assembly Plant, we were the first to file unfair labor charges against the company. On May 21, 1941, the National Labor Relations Board ruled that Ford had broken the law through interference, restraint, and coercion of our right to organize. The NLRB ordered that all UAW members who were discriminatorily discharged be rehired with back pay.

Local 249 is committed to fighting for social and economic justice for all workers. We work closely with local, state, and federal organizations and elected officials who are working to end social injustice and advance the rights and economic well-being of working people everywhere. Local 249 members are actively engaged in our communities through extensive social service work and political action. Like Martin Luther King, we believe the labor movement is the principal force that transformed misery and despair into hope and progress in this country.

Our members and our community can look back on a proud history of battles fought and won even as we are actively engaged in building a brighter future for all working men and women.