WENTZVILLE, Mo. — For workers at GM’s Wentzville assembly plant in St. Charles County, masks are now mandatory across all shifts.
It’s no secret that the pandemic has caused big problems across the auto industry.
“We’re trying to stay safe for the pandemic along with the chip shortage that we’ve been having it’s been a learning curve but we’re here to meet the demands and do what we can safely,” said United Auto Workers Local 2250 President Frederick Jamison.
In an effort to stay a step ahead of the virus UAW Local 2250 has encouraged members to get vaccinated.
“If there’s one person not vaccinated we still have to do our due diligence on keeping everyone safe at the end of the day,” said Jamison.
While it’s unclear how many people inside the Wentzville facility have been vaccinated. Forty-eight percent of people in St. Charles County have the vaccine.
However, Frederick said with the spread of the delta variant across Missouri, both the UAW and GM wanted to make sure everyone stayed safe with a mandatory mask mandate.
“I’m ready to get normal like everyone else, but safety first,” said Jamison. “We’re keeping our families first and that’s what’s really important.”
On June 21, 5.7% of COVID tests in St. Charles County came back positive, but 30 days later that number has jumped to 13.46%.
“We have the same problem that everybody else in the region has,” said St. Charles Co. Executive Steve Ehlmann. “I’m concerned. We’ll just have to continue to monitor it and respond accordingly.”
Does Ehlmann think the GM mandate could be a sign of things to come for St. Charles County residents?
“Not at this time,” said Ehlmann. “I hope that we don’t ever get to the point that we even need to discuss it.”
“We just want everybody to make it home so they can have dinner with their families,” said Jamison.
A GM spokesperson provided 5 on Your Side with this statement:
After reviewing the COVID-19 case rates surrounding our Wentzville Assembly Plant (Wentzville, Missouri), General Motors will re-instate the 100% mask requirement at this plant to provide an added layer of protection for employees. The health and safety of our team members will continue to dictate our COVID 19 protocols. This change will go into effect on 3rd shift Tuesday, July 20 (Monday night start). Our GM Medical team will continue to monitor plant COVID cases, community trends and CDC/OSHA guidance.