Supply chain issues continue to affect KCAP

By Jim Fisher

As we enter March, our plant continues to see weekly schedule adjustments due to the current supply chain issues. So far this year the Truck System has been hit with 11 total shifts being canceled. At the time of this article, there have been five canceled shifts on A Crew, three shifts canceled on both B and C Crew. In addition to the down weeks, our members in the Truck System have seen reduced production schedules on some of the weeks that they have worked.

Unfortunately, there is a strong likelihood that these trends will continue into the second quarter. The Transit System has increased its operating pattern from a 5×10 hour schedule to a 5×11 hour schedule. Of course, this is subject to the availability of parts. Transit entered February with over 10,000 Battery Electric Vans in the order system. When you take into account the high order bank for Transit and the very low dealer supplies for F-150s all indications are that when Ford does get the supply chains under control, this will be a very busy facility. Until that happens, production schedules will continue to adjust on a weekly basis, and we will continue to inform the membership as fast as we have confirmation from the company.

There have been several rumors posted about production schedules. We advise you to get your official information from KCAP or Local 249 Leadership only.

I have heard a lot of questions about the Fitness Center at KCAP. The Fitness Center until 2019 was controlled locally using funds from a program called the Local Nickel. This account gave joint control to Local 249 leadership and the HR Department at KCAP to invest in things that help both hourly and salary staff at KCAP.  During the restructuring programs, all facilities lost this program. It is now controlled by a joint venture out of Detroit.

Before 2019, there were several large investments made in the Fitness Center including a building expansion, new equipment, new TVs, and new fans. In 2020, our Fitness Center was closed due to the COVID Return to Work Playbook. In December of last year, we received permission to begin the process of reopening the center in February.

In January, a team from Detroit came in for inspection of the Fitness Center, and due to new COVID requirements on ventilation, the Fitness Center failed its audit. The Fitness Center will now be undergoing a ventilation upgrade at a cost of well over $200,000.

This project is expected to be completed between July and October of this year. From our point of view, this was not soon enough. The local leadership met with the joint venture team from Detroit and asked for additional options for our members until repairs to the Center could be completed. We are the first plant to reach an agreement with an off-site facility for our members to use while upgrades are completed. Local 249 active members have all been approved for a 5-month membership from February 28 to July 28 to The Foundation, a 24-hour gym, at no cost to the members. The Foundation is located at 9521 N.E. 79th Street, Kansas City, Missouri 64158. Their phone number is (816) 280-2910. It is located just 2.5 miles from the plant.

To obtain a membership you will either need to contact our ESSP Representative Kenny Alexander at (816)459-1226 or come by the union hall for the paperwork. The Foundation is a locally owned facility that offers a wide range of workout equipment from free weights, treadmills, and a sauna. For an additional charge, they also offer daycare options and tanning beds.

We have also received questions about whether our Fitness Center will open with the staff that worked there before COVID. At this time the joint venture team has stated there is no plan to return them. Instead, they have stated that members will need to use their I.D. badges to enter the facility. During the audit in January, our ESSP Representative, KCAP plant manager, KCAP HR director, and I all met with them and expressed the benefits of having the training staff for the Fitness Center returned. However, as of now, it appears that the joint venture team is still refusing to return them.

On March 2, Ford Motor Company announced that they will be restructuring the company into two internal entities. “Ford Blue” will design and manufacture Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) Vehicles, and “Ford E” will design and manufacture Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV). Ford’s internal restructuring will have no impact on the Collective Bargaining Agreement with the UAW. The company has confirmed that our members will continue to perform the work required in both entities and profit sharing will be based on the total North American profits generated by both entities. All aspects of our agreement will remain intact.