Wentzille businesses respond to economic impact of GM strike

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WENTZVILLE, Mo. – General Motors workers are on the picket lines as day ten of the United Auto Workers strike continues.

Union members said they have made progress in negotiations.

General Motors is Wentzville’s top employer. As the strike continues to affect workers vying for fair wages, affordable healthcare, and their share of profits, local business can feel a change.

“We just haven’t been getting that business, and it’s been really showing,” said Emily Fluchell, a waitress at Pete’s Drive-In.

Pete’s Drive-in Diner is locally owned and looks forward to serving GM workers before and after their shifts.

The owner of Dukes Dukes BBQ Shack is one of the Wentzville businesses offering deals to those on strike.

“When the strike started, we wanted to give back to them, so last week we donated food,” said Peter Venezia, owner of Dukes BBQ Shack.

Local bars have seen a change, too.

Union members said there has been some progress made with coming to an agreement. They’ve been working around the clock and say what they’ve seen is support from local businesses.

“They all come with their family on the weekend. We are here with them throughout this process,” Venezia said.

Some businesses are hurting, and others are helping where they can.

All agreed if the city’s largest economic driver and employees aren’t on one accord soon, many will be affected.

“A strike is never good when it lasts too long. I have friends who work there and it’s obviously affecting them. They can’t make money and eventually it’s going to cause problems for Wentzville,” Fluchell said.

GM sent a statement, saying, “Negotiations have resumed. Our goal remains to reach an agreement that builds a stronger future for our employees and our business.”

Union members said they have a Hold the Line Rally scheduled for Friday at 10 a.m.

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