Wentzville has been at the forefront of the nationwide United Auto Worker strike that could come to an end soon as General Motors reached a tentative agreement with the United Auto Workers. Reuters reports GM is the third U.S. automaker to reach a deal, followed by Ford and Chrysler owner Stellantis.
Wentzville Mayor Nick Guccione tells KMOX Radio in St. Louis that the strike has already negatively impacted the local economy.
“This is one of the first plants that they targeted when they started going on strike,” Guccione said. “They build a very popular product here with the Colorado and the Canyon and also the van. The van is very popular. That line just never stops. It’s just unbelievable how many vehicles they produce on a monthly basis, and they’re still unable to keep up with the demand.”
That has had a domino effect on the local economy – workers not working means people aren’t spending money.
“It’s a little different because I’m used to running into a lot of the employees from the UAW that shop in our local restaurants, stores and, you know, they’re just holding onto their dollars because they don’t know how long this is going to go on, very conservative with how they spend,” said Guccione. “I’m sure it has a little bit of a drop in our retail sales tax numbers. “We have several, I believe, four sub suppliers in the city. So, if you take all the jobs, GM is our biggest employer, our largest employer. You add another 2-3 thousand people to that, that’s a pretty big impact.”
The General Motors plant in Wentzville has over 4,000 employees. Additionally, Ford, which has an assembly plant in Claycomo, near Kansas City, has over 7,000 employees.
Requests from the Union include a more than 40% pay raise, a four-day work week at full-time pay, and a return to traditional pensions.
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