General Motors is once again in the UAW's crosshairs, and as we've already seen with recent strikes against Ford and Stellantis, the target is decidedly high-profile. The automaker's Arlington Assembly plant in Texas shut down this morning as 5,000 workers joined the strike against the Detroit brands that began a month and a half ago.
Arlington Assembly builds GM full-size SUVs including the Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe, GMC Yukon, and Cadillac Escalade. This is the only manufacturing location in the world for these vehicles, meaning production is well and truly halted. Consisting of over 5 million square feet spread across 250 acres, it's one of GM's largest facilities in North America. According to a statement from the UAW, it's also one of the most profitable plants for the company.
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This strike, like the previous two targeting Ram 1500 and Ford F-Series Super Duty production, was unannounced to GM beforehand. The union cites GM's proposal as motivation for the strike, claiming it lags behind Ford's current offer with a two-tier wage progression, the "weakest" 401k offer, a "deficient" Cost of Living Allowance (COLA), and other unspecified shortcomings. It all comes after GM posted better-than-expected Q3 financial results just hours before the strike.
"Another record quarter, another record year. As we’ve said for months: record profits equal record contracts," said UAW President Shawn Fain in a statement. "It’s time GM workers, and the whole working class, get their fair share."
In response to the strike, a GM spokesperson offered the following statement:
"We are disappointed by the escalation of this unnecessary and irresponsible strike. It is harming our team members who are sacrificing their livelihoods and having negative ripple effects on our dealers, suppliers, and the communities that rely on us.
Last week, we provided a comprehensive offer to the UAW that increased the already substantial and historic offers we have made by approximately 25 percent in total value.
It is time for us to finish this process, get our team members back to work and get on with the business of making GM the company that will win and provide great jobs in the U.S. for our people for decades to come."
The latest walkout means over 45,000 UAW members are now on strike. It affects eight assembly plants and 38 distribution centers spanning 22 states.