WENTZVILLE, Mo. – A St. Louis representative and a congressional colleague attended a big union rally in Wentzville on Sunday to show their support for striking autoworkers.
“Seventy-five percent of the people support you. I’m on your side; we’re on your side; that’s why we’re fighting to pass the PRO Act,” Representative Cori Bush (D-Missouri) said.
As thousands of autoworkers are out on strike, Congresswomen Cori Bush and Alexandria Ocasio Cortez let autoworkers know they stand with them.
“When the Big Three don’t want to take the value of their workers seriously, then they have given workers no other option but to force them to value their labor,” Representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-New York) said.
Sunday’s list of speakers at the rally included Brandon Campbell, the Region 4 director of UAW. He said the biggest concern for members is pay.
“Over the last four years—just four years—inflation is up 20%, but the cost of a new vehicle is up 34%. Corporate greed is the problem,” said Campbell. He said negotiations with GM and Stellantis are slow, but Ford is making progress.
GM’s website shows the company’s latest proposal to union members. It shows wages increasing between 16% and 40% depending on the job; inflation protection, meaning workers at max wages would be paid differently if inflation exceeded annual wage increases; and zero changes to healthcare coverage, which shows workers paying zero premiums and zero deductibles. It also shows 20 paid holidays and up to five weeks of paid vacation time.
Campbell said the union’s demands of a 40% pay raise are still low compared to pay from 15 years ago.
“When people hear 40% pay increases, they don’t realize that still takes us below where we were in 2007 and 2009 when you adjust for inflation. Our wages have went up 6% over the last four years. Inflation has went up 20%,” said Campbell.