WENTZVILLE, Mo. – The United Auto Workers are officially on strike Friday morning against the big three automakers and workers at the GM plant in Wentzville were among the first across the country to hit the picket line.

Workers from UAW Local 2250 are currently striking. The walkout here began just after midnight, when the contract with GM officially expired.

For the first time in history, the UAW is striking against all three automakers at the same time. The GM plant is one of three facilities where United Auto Workers are walking picket lines Friday morning. The other two are a Stellantis Jeep assembly plant in Ohio and a portion of a Ford plant in Michigan.

Instead of an all-out strike across the country, the UAW is using what it calls ‘stand-up strikes.’ That means there will be targeted strikes at certain facilities, and the Wentzville plant was one of the first three to walk out.

We’re told the GM plant employs 4,100 people.

Among the union’s demands are a 40% raise through 2027, a 32-hour work week, a cost of living adjustment, and enhanced profit sharing.

We’re told GM offered a 20% raise on Thursday, but that was not enough to avert the strike. Here is some of what UAW National President Shawn Fain said just before the strike started:

“We will show our strength and unity on the first day of this historic action,” Fain shared. “All options remain on the table. The national leadership will determine the appropriate targets and timing for further strike action. This is our generation’s defining moment. The money in there. The cause is righteous. The world is watching, and the UAW is ready to stand up. This is our defining moment.”

The chair and CEO of General Motors, Mary Barra, issued a statement reading in part, “We have been bargaining in good faith to deliver a better package with historic wage increases and manufacturing commitments, recognizing your contributions to our company – past, present and future.”

The last UAW strike against the automakers was in 2019 and that lasted for 40 days.