Two big Kansas City winners were honored at the White House on Monday.
Along with the Super Bowl LVII Champion Kansas City Chiefs, President Joe Biden welcomed brand-new UAW member Hafsa Sheikh-Hussein. She was there representing over 400 workers at the Yanfeng plant outside Kansas City in Riverside, MO., who voted to join UAW Local 710 last month.
Yanfeng workers organized to put an end to low pay, lack of seniority rights, understaffed shifts, and little to no work-life balance at the facility.
“Winning our union was a big deal and getting to celebrate it with the Super Bowl champions made it even more special,” said Sheikh-Hussein, who works as a quality technician at Yanfeng in Riverside. “Just like the Chiefs’ victory lifted up Kansas City, the improvements we win in a first contract are going to make life better for our whole community.”
Biden honored the Chiefs in a ceremony on the White House lawn and invited both Sheikh-Hussein and UAW Region 4 Director Brandon Campbell.
“During the ceremony, the Chiefs talked about the adversity they faced during the season,” said Director Campbell. “How it was unity that allowed them to rise above it—unity and teamwork. That’s so true in our world too. The Yanfeng workers won big because they were united.”
After the event, both Campbell and Sheik-Hussein met briefly with the President. “I was shaking his hand,” Sheikh-Hussein said, “and when I told him I was UAW, his face lit up and his handshake got even stronger.”
“I’ve been with the UAW my whole life,” the President responded. “[The UAW was] the first union to endorse me when I was a 29-year-old kid running for the Senate.”
“Hafsa and Yanfeng workers won big, and it’s great that President Biden honored their victory. But we could have some big losses in the Midwest if our elected officials don’t fight for strong EV job protections and also to keep good jobs at Master Lock in Milwaukee, Oshkosh Truck and Stellantis in Belvidere,” Director Campbell said, referring to three UAW worksites currently under threat of major job loss.
With the victory at Yanfeng in Riverside, UAW members have now organized six Yanfeng plants in North America. Over 1,000 UAW members work at the supplier in Highland Park, Romulus, and Monroe, Michigan, Mississauga, Ontario, McCalla, Alabama, and at Riverside. The Riverside plant produces parts for the General Motors Fairfax Assembly Plant in Kansas City, represented by UAW Local 31.
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