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Wentzville GM plant gets three additional weeks of shutdown

By Rachel Lippmann, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – Workers at GM's Wentzville assembly plant are facing another three weeks of downtime as the American automotive company struggles to cut costs and avoid Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The plant was already scheduled to be closed the entire month of July for the standard summer idling - its 1800 hourly and 140 salaried workers will now also be off for three weeks in June.

United Auto Workers 2250 spokesman Tom Brune said morale at the plant is low - it was also shuttered for three weeks in February and March for the same reason.

"Everybody's just on edge, and a lot of people just want some resolution here," Brune said. "It's hard to live through day after day after day, and we just like to know what the future's going to be."

Wentzville workers are comparatively lucky, as some plants will be down for more than two months. But, Brune said, the fact that one plant is doing better than the other doesn't help the overall situation.

"Yeah, it's good for us that we're able to maintain more of a schedule than a lot of plants, but we certainly don't take comfort in it," he said.

A provision in some contracts provides for additional pay on top of unemployment benefits, Brune said, but it's not included in the contracts of younger workers. And, he said, he expects any deal with the government will eliminate the extra dollars.

The Wentzville plant makes large conversion and cargo vans.


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