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UAW continues strike at GM plant in Wentzville

By Adam Allington, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – Workers at the General Motors plant in Wentzville are walking the picket line again today during ongoing UAW negations.

The striking workers are calling for guarantees of job-security amid a shrinking domestic market for GM-made cars and trucks.

Bill Schiltz, a Chairman for UAW Local 2250 in Wentzville says workers believe the strike is sending the right message to GM Headquarters.

"Everyone says it doesn't make any difference how long it lasts as long as we get exactly what we're looking for," says Schiltz.

"You know if we're out here now and we drew a line than we need to stick with what we're doing."

An auto industry economist at Washington University in St. Louis says the future for the 2000 striking workers at the Wentzville plant does not look promising.

Glenn McDonald says both the GM plant in Wentzville and the Ford plant in Hazelwood are likely on the losing end of the deal, whether it happens today or years from now.

"The promises that the big three automakers made back in the 60's, we're going to see them broken that's basically what's happening," says McDonald.

"You know nowadays they're talking about most of their growth being in China and India basically we're moving our business offshore is largely what they're saying'".

GM wants the UAW to establish trust to administer its retiree health care obligations. The trust could save the company an estimated $3 billion per year

Industry analysts have speculated that the UAW would end the strike by taking on the 55-Billion dollar retiree healthcare trust in exchange for job security.

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