WENTZVILLE — General Motors workers here learned Wednesday that the company has reached a tentative agreement with the United Auto Workers union, but they aren’t stepping off the picket line yet.
Still, said Darin Gilley, financial secretary for the UAW Local 2250 in Wentzville, members are “excited to at least have something to look at.”
Wentzville Mayor Nick Guccione called it “a sense of caution and excitement.”
Workers in Wentzville went on strike late on Sept. 15. Since then, the plant’s roughly 4,500 employees have been picketing outside the gates in four-hour shifts, 24 hours a day.
On Wednesday some were using fire pits to stay warm in the windy, overcast weather.
“Unfortunately until our union officials bring back the information, there’s nothing we can say or do but hold the line,” said Dave Hurst, of Lake Saint Louis, picketing outside the Wentzville plant. He said he has worked for GM for more than 40 years.
“We have a process that we need to follow,” Hurst said.
Union leaders nationwide will travel to Detroit to meet on Thursday to review the details of the contract, and vote on whether to recommend it to union members for ratification.
Glenn Kage, president of Local 2250, said Wednesday he did not yet know how he will vote, as he had not yet reviewed the contract. Kage said he expected members to picket until the contract is finalized.
In past strikes, it’s taken as little as three or four days and as long as several weeks to ratify a final deal, the Associated Press reported.
An end to the strike would be welcome news for GM suppliers, as well as some local businesses that have seen dramatically fewer customers since it began.
Guccione said Wednesday morning he was helping coordinate resources for workers who are struggling to pay the bills during the strike.
On Saturday the UAW upped the workers’ weekly strike pay to $275, from $250.
Cristina Fletes of the Post-Dispatch contributed to this report.