Workers are now on strike at all three Detroit automakers' largest and most profitable plants.
On Oct. 24, 5,000 United Auto Workers (UAW) members at Arlington Assembly in Texas joined the Stand Up Strike, shutting down production at General Motors’ largest plant and biggest moneymaker.
The workers at Arlington Assembly make some of GM’s most profitable vehicles, the Chevy Tahoe, Chevy Suburban, GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade. With this move, all three automakers' largest and most profitable plants have been struck; 8,700 workers at Ford's Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville, KY, joined the strike Oct. 11, while 6,800 workers at Stellantis’ Sterling Heights Assembly Plant walked out Oct. 23.
The move comes just hours after GM reported third-quarter earnings of $3.5 billion, and just a few days after the union detailed the shortcomings of GM’s latest contract offer.
“Another record quarter, another record year. As we’ve said for months: record profits equal record contracts,” said UAW President Shawn Fain. “It’s time GM workers, and the whole working class, get their fair share.”
Despite having made $10 billion in profits in the past nine months, breaking revenue records for another consecutive quarter, and beating Wall Street expectations, the UAW said, GM’s latest offer fails to reward UAW members for the profits they’ve generated.
The union said GM’s current offer lags behind Ford, proposing a two-tier wage progression, the weakest 401(k) contribution offer on the table, a deficient COLA and other shortcomings.
On the heels of GM's previous quarter, which set “a post-bankruptcy record” in terms of revenue, the UAW said, it is clear GM can afford a record contract and do more to repair the harm done by years of falling real wages and declining standards across the Big Three.
The unannounced walkout at Arlington Assembly brings the total number of UAW members on strike at the Big Three automakers to more than 45,000, as the strike nears the six-week mark.
The Stand Up Strike, which began Sept. 15, is the first time the union has struck all Big Three automakers at the same time. But instead of all 150,000 UAW autoworkers walking out at once, select locals have been called on to “Stand Up” and strike. It has grown to include eight assembly plants and 38 parts distribution centers in 22 states.