Fri, Sep 15, 2023 11:03 AM
By Joe Mueller, The Center Square
United Auto Workers at the General Motors assembly plant in Wentzville went on strike Friday as they didn’t reach a contract agreement.
UAW also went on strike at the Stellantis Toledo Assembly Plant in Ohio and the Ford Michigan Assembly Plant.
The Wentzville facility builds the Chevrolet Colorado and Express and the GMC Canyon and Savana. Approximately 4,114 people are employed at the 4.25-million-square-foot facility on a 440-acre site.
General Motors estimates the taxable wages at the Wentzville site to be $363.1 million.
The UAW called the walkout a “stand up strike.”
“Instead of striking all plants all at once, select locals will be called on to ‘Stand Up’ and walk out on strike,” according to information on the UAW website. “As time goes on, more locals may be called on to ‘Stand Up’ and join the strike. This gives us maximum leverage and maximum flexibility in our fight to win a fair contract at each of the Big Three automakers.”
However, UAW President Shawn Fain has repeatedly stated a nationwide strike is possible.
UAW workers went out on strike in 2019 at the Wentzville plant after negotiations broke down with General Motors. This year, the union is seeking wage increases of approximately 46% over four years, cost-of-living adjustments, restoration of pensions, retiree health care and a 32-hour work week.
"Every dime the auto industry is spending on Joe Biden’s radical climate mandates should be spent on workers," U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., posted on social media. "They deserve better wages, better hours, and a guarantee their jobs will be safe – not shipped off to China."
“Standing in solidarity with the workers of UAW as they negotiate with the Big Three for better wages and working conditions,” U.S. Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., posted on social media earlier this week. “When these corporations see record profits, their workers MUST see record wages.”