WENTZVILLE GM PLANT UNION WORKERS STRIKE
Thousands of workers who are members of the United Auto Workers union announced that members will be going on strike Sunday night because of contract negotiations with the automaker had broken down.
Almost 49,000 members at General Motors plants in the U.S. including Missouri at the GM’s Wentzville Assembly plant stopped working.
Third shift workers were told to go into work and finish their job, put their tools away and take their personal belongings with them.
A letter was also sent out to members on why the move to strike was made:
‘UAW Vice President Terry Dittes released a letter this evening to members announcing that the UAW will not extend the current 2015 Collective Bargaining Agreement, but will work without a contract until a course of action is decided by the UAW International Executive Board and the UAW-GM National Council.
‘While we are fighting for better wages, affordable quality health care, and job security, GM refuses to put hard-working Americans ahead of their record profits of $35 billion in North America over the last three years. We are united in our efforts to get an agreement our members and their families deserve.’
These are the main issues that pushed for the strike that hasn’t happened since 2007:
•GM is making big money, $8 billion last year alone, and workers want a bigger slice. The union wants annual pay raises to guard against an economic downturn, but the company wants to pay lump sums tied to earnings. Automakers don’t want higher fixed costs.
•The union also wants new products for the four factories GM wants to close. The factory plans have irked some workers, although most of those who were laid off will get jobs at other GM factories. GM currently has too much U.S. factory capacity.
•The companies want to close the labor cost gap with workers at plants run by foreign automakers. GM’s gap is the largest at $13 per hour, followed by Ford at $11 and Fiat Chrysler at $5, according to figures from the Center for Automotive Research. GM pays $63 per hour in wages and benefits compared with $50 at the foreign-owned factories.
•Union members have great health insurance plans but workers pay about 4% of the cost. Employees of large firms nationwide pay about 34%, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. The companies would like to cut costs.