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GM puts $1.5B for Wentzville plant on table during strike negotiations with UAW

  

General Motors has reached a tentative deal with United Auto Workers who have been on strike nationwide since September — which includes a $1.5 billion investment into the plant in Wentzville. 

United Auto Workers (UAW) employees at the Wentzville plant are set to vote on the tentative agreement by Thursday evening. 

The Wentzville plant, west of St. Louis, was included in a massive workforce development bill pushed through the General Assembly in the spring. The bill, signed into law by Republican Gov. Mike Parson, was designed to lure a $1 billion expansion of the plant. 

UAW workers went on strike against General Motors (GM) in mid-September, demanding better wages and job protection. The parties reached a tentative agreement last week, which is still being decided.

Nearly 4,500 UAW Local 2250 workers are employed at the Wentzville plant. Union members are holding meetings on the tentative agreement Wednesday, with voting opening at midnight until 6 p.m. Thursday.  

A $1.5 billion investment into the more than 500-acre plant is on the table during negotiations, multiple sources familiar with the matter confirmed to The Missouri Times. 

“It’s definitely a step in the right direction,” UAW Local 2250 President Glenn Kage told The Missouri Times. 

Kane specifically praised the inclusion of a plan for conversion of temporary workers, healthcare remaining in tact, and the recovering of some wages lost. 

He said the tentative proposal also includes funding for upgrades to the facility. 

The Wentzville plant produces Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon midsize trucks as well as Chevy Express and GMC Savana full-size vans. It reported nearly $340 million in state wages in 2018.

The Missouri Department of Economic Development “is hopeful for a quick resolution” with the strike, Holly Koofer-Thompson, its communications director, previously told The Missouri Times.

“General Motors has reached a tentative agreement with the UAW. We encourage the UAW to move as quickly as possible through the ratification process, so we can resume operations and get back to producing vehicles for our customers,” GM said in a statement. “Our goal during these negotiations was to ensure the future of General Motors is one that works for our employees, dealers, suppliers, and the communities where we operate. The agreement reflects our commitment to U.S. manufacturing through the creation of new jobs and increased investment.”

Nationwide, UAW workers are voting on the tentative agreement this week with varied results so far: Workers narrowly rejected the proposal in Spring Hill, Tenn., but it was approved in Saginaw, Mich.

Fifty-one percent of the voting membership needs to vote in favor of the agreement for it to get approval.