Missouri GM workers look to get back to work soon with new contract agreement
Workers at the GM plant in Wentzville, Missouri, have been picketing for over 45 days, but to end the strike, union leaders and members still need to vote on the tentative deal announced Monday. Workers would get a 25% raise over almost five years.
Nearly 4,000 union workers at Wentzville’s General Motors plant may soon be headed back to work after a tentative contract agreement was announced Monday.
“Every day was worth it for us holding the line and doing what we have to do to come to a good agreement,” said assembly plant worker Exavion Crenshaw. “If you ask me, I’d say it was well worth it.”
The agreement with GM follows deals with the other two automarkers, Ford and Stellantis, that the United Auto Workers went on strike against. Those deals were announced last week and over the weekend.
The deal includes 25% pay raises over the next four years and eight months, according to the Associated Press. With cost-of-living adjustments over the same time, workers’ wages will increase 30%.
“It’s not everything,” Crenshaw said. “But it’s a good start.”
Other striking workers, like Ryan Davis, said he’d look forward to reading the tentative contract to figure out all the details.
“It’s something that, honestly, we can work with,” Davis said.
Davis, who’s been at the Wentzville GM facility since 2015, said he feels like this deal looks out for all workers, whether they’re salaried, hourly or new hires. The agreement reached in 2019, when General Motors workers picketed for nearly six weeks, was not fair to all workers, Davis said.
Another striking worker, Tyrone Cooper, who’s been at Wentzville for only a couple of years, said he appreciates that this deal would allow him to reach top pay faster. Announcing the deal, union President Shawn Fain said the hourly starting wage will jump from $18 to $30.
“I get there way quicker,” Cooper said with a laugh. “So, me, I’m happy.”
The deal looks to mark an end to a strike after 45 days in Wentzville — which was one of the first three plants to be idled across the country. The facility assembles midsize pickups and full-size vans for both GMC and Chevrolet.
Fain said local members will soon receive information on when and how to return to work. On Friday, UAW leadership will vote whether to send the tentative deal to all its members. From there, regional unions would host information meetings and later vote.
Pressure had been mounting on GM after UAW struck earlier deals with Ford and Stellantis. Workers walked out of GM’s biggest North American plant in Tennessee on Saturday. Those 4,000 workers in Tennessee joined roughly 14,000 in Texas, Michigan and Wentzville.
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