MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Union autoworkers are on the picket lines outside the GM Parts Distribution Plant in Martinsburg.
The United Auto Workers Union (UAW) expanded its strike locations back on Friday with the Martinsburg facility being one of 38 additional sites.
UAW Local 1590 President Vanessa Banks said the Martinsburg-based workers are united. She said they have all given a lot.
“Since the 2009 bankruptcy, we went 10-years plus without a raise because we were trying to help them (the company) out, that’s what they said,” Banks said. “They said they would in turn make sure we were compensated for that which never happened.”
Banks said the last raise was 2%. She said the workers want their tiered pay system restored along with their COLA.
“That would have really helped us through this inflation we’ve been going through,” she said.
Banks said it’s not the union that’s hurting the economy in any way.
“It’s them—you know what I’m talking about. It’s corporate greed. Even our management in the plant know that if we do better they do better,” Banks said.
She said she wants autoworker jobs to be valued like they used to be.
“When we are making a decent wage everyone around us is making a decent wage. Right now we are not at that point,” she said. “We have no buying power like we used to. So when these companies are sending out work to other countries it’s not helping America at all.”
The Martinsburg plant supplies GM dealerships with parts for maintenance and repairs.
WEPM Radio Reporter Luke Wiggs contributed to this story.