Teamsters Local 41 just quietly pulled off one of the largest organizing wins in either Kansas or Missouri in decades, helping over two hundred workers at Grupo Antolin join the powerful and historic Kansas City local. Grupo Antolin workers produce the headliners for the locally produced Ford Transit, Ford F-150, and Chevy Malibu.

This is the first Grupo Antolin facility to unionize in the United States. The final vote was an eye opening 170 “yes” to 22 “no.” The workers are seeking higher wages, better benefits, paid time off, seniority rights, and fair work rules.

“We are so happy to be Teamsters and finally have the right to speak out and voice our concerns,” said Joel Salazar, a quality auditor who has worked at Grupo Antolin for three years. “My co-workers and I are very close, like a second family. We’re all so excited to have won strong representation on the job. This is a big deal to us.”

The workers at Grupo Antolin, who speak a number of languages including Burmese, Spanish, Swahili, and French, went to significant lengths to organize before calling Local 41 in, who were happy to help seal the deal for the diverse workplace. Local 41 leveraged long hours from the union representatives in the hall, help from the Interntational, and volunteer organizing help from the Teamsters Hispanic Caucus of Kansas City & Vicinity who helped to engage the workers, 75% of whom speak Spanish as their first or primary language.

“This is our local’s biggest organizing win in 30 years. There’s a lot of opportunity for organizing this industry in Kansas City. Word of mouth spreads fast, and we will use all the tools at the local and International to keep it going,” said Ralph Stubbs, President of Teamsters Local 41. “I appreciate everyone who helped on this campaign, but all credit goes to the workers. This campaign started from the grassroots and went on up from there. These workers had the resolve to get it done, and they were not scared to do it.”

The union intends to continue to target similar facilities, with a goal of prioritizing organizing the unorganized in 2024. The section of the city, a heavily industrial area, where this factory is located contains a number of similar operations and transportation companies that align with the Teamsters traditional organizing patterns.

Congratulations to the newest members of Local 41!