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Missouri politicians and local leaders show their support for UAW strikers

The strike includes the 'Big 3' automakers, GM, Ford and Stellantis. Plants in Wentzville, Toledo, Ohio and Wayne, Indiana are the first plants to strike.

WENTZVILLE, Mo. — Three plants, including the GM plant in Wentzville, a Stellantis plant in Toledo and a Ford plant in Wayne Michigan, are on strike. Friday night, the mayor of Wentzville and Lucas Kunce came out to support the strikes, voicing what this could mean long-term for our economy.

Mayor Nick Guccione of Wentzville has made it clear he supports UAW strikers. Friday he showed his support by standing with them on the picket lines twice, once during the day and once during the evening. He worries the long-term effect of workers not having their demands met will hurt the economy. 

"I'm praying that this doesn't last long, if it does it's going to hurt our community though the region, state and country-wide," Mayor Nick Guccione said. 

Lucas Kunce, a candidate running for U.S. Senate, also showed his support to UAW strikers.

"It's all about solidarity, and protecting the middle class you know. What they're asking for is just to catch back up on really the sacrifices they made to keep these companies afloat," Kunce said.

United Auto Workers in Wentzville say they're holding the line for their livelihoods. Ron Lane is just one of the many 'picket captains' who supervise picketing efforts. He said everyone has a specific job and time they have to be on the picket line. 

"They're four-hour shifts and we're here 24/7, so you might see someone at 2 p.m. or 2 a.m.," Lane said. 

Lane has worked at the GM plant in Wentzville for nearly a decade. 

This is his second time striking in his career; the first was the 2019 UAW strike. He said the demands are simple.

"So we want to end tiers, tiers are the breakdown by division of pay, fighting for higher wages, higher starting pay," Lane said. 

Lane said what's also on the table are pension and retirement plans after they were removed from employee benefits years ago. 

He said it's all an effort to improve people's lives. According to strikers, nearly 4,000 people work at the GM plant in Wentzville.

Lane said they're ready to stay on the picket line for as long as they have to. 

"We're fighting for more than ourselves, we're fighting for the entire UAW," Lane said.

Strikers say that bargaining was off the table today because international leaders joined them at the picket lines, they believe that bargaining efforts will continue to tomorrow. 

If bargaining efforts are to no avail, strikers say that's when more than three locations will strike.

Rosemarie White, a UAW striker, said that in the first few days of the strike, many workers are going to the UAW Local 2250 Hall to register for their strike duties.

White said this will allow them to receive strike pay, but it usually is only 30-40% of their regular pay.

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