The UAW is keeping the pressure on the Detroit Three automakers during their contract negotiations. Union chief Shawn Fain followed up Monday’s strike call at Stellantis’ Sterling Heights (MI) Assembly Plant with a call for workers at GM’s Arlington Truck Plant to stand up and walk out. Get details at Headlight.News.
Just a day after nearly 7,000 workers walked out Stellantis’ Michigan-based full-size truck plant, UAW President Shawn Fain pulled another lever in his campaign to increase the pressure on the companies, getting the 5,000 workers at General Motors’ Arlington, Texas plant to stand up and strike.
The move is strategic as the site, which was already targeted, but spared last month, builds some of the auto company’s most profitable vehicles, including the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, the GMC Yukon and Yukon XL and the Cadillac Escalade and Escalade-V.
Fain, who seems to have a flair for the dramatic, ordered the strike shortly after GM reported better-than-expected third quarter results: net income of $3 billion on revenue of $44.1 billion. The company withdrew its full-year financial forecast as it is impossible to predict the long-term impact of the strike on GM’s bottom line.
It was also the 40th day of the strike, the same number of days the union struck GM in 2019 during labor talks.
“Another record quarter, another record year. As we’ve said for months: record profits equal record contracts,” said Fain, who has said the sides are making progress. “It’s time GM workers, and the whole working class, get their fair share.”
GM was unsurprisingly not pleased.
“We are disappointed by the escalation of this unnecessary and irresponsible strike,” GM said in a statement. “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.”
Two days, two strikes
It marked the second time in two days Fain has asked workers at big, profitable plants to join other picketers. On Monday, he directed 6,800 workers at the Stellantis plant in Sterling Heights, Michigan to “stand up” and walk out, cutting production of the Ram 1500 pickup, the automaker’s most profitable product line.
Fain indicated that Stellantis lagged the offers made by Ford in GM in key areas. And that was underscored by the statement the union issued Monday as it ordered workers at the Ram 1500 plant to join the novel “stand-up” strike the UAW has resorted to this year — and which has now resulted in the closure of more than 40 Detroit Big Three facilities across the U.S.
“Currently, Stellantis has the worst proposal on the table regarding wage progression, temporary worker pay and conversion to full-time, cost-of-living adjustments (COLA), and more,” the UAW statement explained, while adding that Stellantis has the “highest revenue, the highest (global) profits, the highest profit margins and the most cash in reserve.”