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GM plant workers in Martinsburg, W.Va., continue to protest for better pay

By Breanna Francis, The Journal of Martinsburg

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Community members shouted and honked in support of the roughly 90 Martinsburg United Auto Workers striking along GM Access Road off W.Va.9 on Day 2 of a nationwide strike against General Motors.

From left, Nick Luster, Bob Mitchell, James Doyle, Rex Lucas and Rick Kern stand on the picket line across from the GM plant in Martinsburg Tuesday protesting for better and more equal wages for employees across the board.Journal photo by Breanna Francis

Vanessa Banks, local 1590 UAW president, said this strike is necessary to ensure everyone is being treated fairly and being given as much opportunity as the person standing beside them on the line in the renegotiation of the employees’ four-year contracts.

“We’re renegotiating contracts where each contract is being completely redone,” Banks said. “This means wages, benefits and any other issues that need to be ironed out to make sure everyone is treated fairly to make sure they are equal with us and to secure our futures so we are all getting paid a fair wage.”

The strike shut down 33 manufacturing plants in nine states across the U.S., as well as 22 parts-distribution warehouses. It’s the first national strike by the union since a two-day walkout in 2007 that had little impact on the company. …

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