General Motors Plant Workers in Wentzville Reject Record Contract Offer
Workers at the General Motors (GM) plant in Wentzville, Missouri have voted down a record contract offer, according to union officials. The votes to approve the contract have pulled ahead nationally, but several plants, including Wentzville, have rejected the agreement.
Out of the approximately 3,000 workers in Wentzville, about 1,600 voted against the contract, while 1,400 voted in favor. Final results are expected on Thursday afternoon, but the majority of workers nationwide have voted in favor of the contract so far.
This strike has been a significant campaign for the union, resulting in double-digit wage increases for workers and large financial losses for GM. If ratified, the contracts would give GM workers wage increases of at least 25% over the next five years.
However, some workers expressed concerns about the wage increase being spread out over the contract’s length, as well as pension and retiree healthcare issues. Despite these concerns, the strike received widespread public and political support, including visits from President Biden and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders.
The union, the United Auto Workers (UAW), used a new strategy in negotiations with GM and other automakers, going on strike at all three companies simultaneously. The UAW Local 2250 in Wentzville was on strike longer than any other union chapter, and the plant resumed regular production after a tentative deal was reached.
Meanwhile, Ford and Stellantis workers are also voting on tentative agreements, with votes on track to pass by wider margins than at GM. However, if the contracts fail at one or two companies but pass elsewhere, the UAW will have to return to the bargaining table on rejected deals.
During the 2019 strike, the GM contract was approved by 57% of members nationwide, with higher approval rates in Wentzville. The current rejection by Wentzville workers signifies a potential shift in sentiment within the union.
Despite the rejection in Wentzville, the majority of GM workers across the country appear poised to approve the contract. It remains to be seen how the UAW will address the concerns raised by Wentzville workers and navigate the bargaining process moving forward.