ARLINGTON, Texas – On Tuesday morning, 5,000 members at Arlington Assembly joined the Stand Up Strike, shutting down production at General Motors’ largest plant and biggest moneymaker.
The workers who make some of GM’s most profitable vehicles, the Chevy Tahoe, Chevy Suburban, GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade, are joining the unprecedented Stand Up Strike against all three of the Big Three automakers. The move comes just hours after GM reported third-quarter earnings of $3.5 billion, one day after the union struck Stellantis’ largest plant, Sterling Heights Assembly Plant (SHAP), 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, GM’s latest offer fails to reward UAW members for the profits they’ve generated. GM’s offer lags behind Ford, with the company 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 their previous quarter, which set “a post-bankruptcy record” in terms of revenue, it is clear that 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 over 45,000, as the strike nears the six-week mark.
The Stand Up Strike is a new approach to striking. It 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.
The strike began on Sept. 15 with a walkout against three assembly plants in Michigan, Missouri and Ohio. It has since grown to include eight assembly plants and 38 parts distribution centers in 22 states.
This is the third time that the UAW has launched a surprise strike against a plant. During the first month of the strike, the union set a deadline in advance and expanded the strike if an automaker failed to make progress toward a fair agreement. That phase of the strike did produce significant movement, but then the Big Three began to slow walk bargaining until just before each deadline.
On Oct. 11, the UAW began a new phase of the Stand Up Strike when it launched a surprise strike against Ford’s iconic and highly profitable Kentucky Truck Plant. In that unannounced move, 8,700 UAW members walked off the job at 6:30 p.m. and shut down the Louisville, Ky. plant.
Ford, GM and Stellantis made a quarter-trillion dollars in North American profits over the last decade. They made a combined $21 billion in total profits in just the first six months of this year. And yet all of them are still refusing to settle contracts that give workers a fair share of the record profits they’ve earned.