WENTZVILLE, Mo. – Friday marks four weeks of autoworkers striking at the General Motors plant in Wentzville and other car manufacturers across the country, seeking better pay for employees.
A big announcement is expected from UAW President Shawn Fain on Friday, but until a negotiation is reached, production remains halted.
“We’re fighting for our future,” said Allen Hudnut, who has worked at the Wentzville plant for 10 years.
More than 1,300 members of the United Auto Workers union are fighting for their collective future.
“Every worker has about one minute to perform all the elements of their task for that assembly part of the job,” said Glenn Kage Jr., Legislative Chair for the UAW 2250.
Over 360 trucks are produced per day.
“That line runs and runs and runs and runs, and it doesn’t stop; it breaks our bodies down,” Hudnutsaid.
Since 2009, Kage said they’ve put forth major concessions to rebuild the crumbling economy of the Big 3.
“In the last 10 years, they’ve made $250 billion in profits,” he said.
Union leaders claim the lack of a contract agreement has cost the country $4 billion thus far.
“We would not know the auto industry the way it is today were it not for the concessions the UAW made in 2009, so now it’s time to start getting that money back,” Kage said.
With inflation and corporate profits on the rise, he said it’s time to support those behind them
“Reinstatement of COLA, the Cost of Living Allowance, reinstatement of pensions for retirees,” Kage said.
It’s why they’ve been striking on 24-hour shifts outside of entry gates at the facility.
“We’ll stand here as long as we need to; we’ll man these gates as long as we need to,” Kage said.
Union workers said GM and its conglomerates can turn this around. Earlier this week, Ford and GM proposed a 20% pay raise with cost of living allowances for escalating inflation. Until approval is reached, the fate of the frontliners will drive the output.
“Eventually, the lots will not have products to sell parts; it’s going to effect the parts supply chain,” Kage said.