UAW expands strike to General Motors SUV plant in Texas
The United Auto Workers union has turned up the heat on General Motors as 5,000 workers walked off their jobs Tuesday at a highly profitable SUV factory in Arlington, Texas.
The walkout comes just a day after the union went on strike at Stellantis ’ huge pickup truck factory in Sterling Heights, Michigan, north of Detroit.
The Texas strike brings the total of UAW members that have walked off their jobs to 46,000 in a series of strikes that is entering its sixth week.
UAW President Shawn Fain last week threatened further strikes in an effort to get GM, Ford and Stellantis to increase their pay and benefit offers.
The Arlington factory makes large truck-based SUVs that are among GM’s most profitable vehicles. They include the Chevrolet Tahoe, GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade.
The move came just hours after GM announced quarterly earnings, and four days after Fain said GM’s latest offer wasn’t large enough.
GM on Tuesday posted a net profit of just over $3 billion for the quarter, down 7% from a year ago. But the company reported strong revenue as well as high demand and prices for its vehicles.
Fain said in a statement that GM beat Wall Street expectations, and its offer lags behind Ford, preserving a two-tier wage structure and offering the weakest 401(k) contribution of all three companies at 8%. “It’s time GM workers, and the whole working class, get their fair share,” Fain said in a statement.
But in a sign that both sides are sticking to their positions, Barra told investors on GM’s earnings conference call Tuesday that the company's record offer rewards employees and doesn’t put the company or UAW jobs at risk.
“Accepting unsustainably high costs would put our future and GM team member jobs at risk, and jeopardizing our future is something I will not do,” she said in a statement.
GM issued a statement Tuesday morning on the strike expansion:
"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% 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."