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5,000 workers at GM's Arlington assembly plant join UAW strike

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October 24 (UPI) – The United Auto Workers Union on Tuesday expanded its strike against the so-called “Big Three” US automakers to include another 5,000 workers at a General Motors plant in Texas.

The UAW had announced the strike at GM's assembly plant in Arlington, which it touted as the company's “largest plant and biggest moneymaker.”

“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 major automakers,” the UAW said.

According to a UAW press release, about 5,000 workers participated in the United Auto Workers strike against General Motors on Tuesday. The action is part of a broader UAW strategy called “Stand Up Strike.”

The expansion of the strike came after GM reported third-quarter profits of $3.5 billion, the UAW said.

“Another record quarter, another record year. As we've been saying for months, record profits mean record contracts,” said UAW President Shawn Fain. “It's time for GM workers and the entire working class to get their fair share.”

The UAW also accused GM of offering far less than it could deliver and compared it to offers from Ford Motors, which union officials also condemned as inadequate.

“Although GM has made $10 billion in profits over the past nine months, broken another consecutive quarter of sales records and exceeded Wall Street expectations, GM's offer falls short of Ford's,” the UAW said.

GM said in its earnings report that the strike had resulted in an additional $600 million loss in earnings and estimated, based on strike numbers earlier in the week, that the strike would cost the company about $200 million per week.

GM CFO Paul Jacobson also argued that record profits did not necessarily mean the company could meet the union's demands.

“When we look at the landscape out there, particularly in the electric vehicle space, we need to make sure we sign an agreement that allows us to be competitive in the market,” he said. “I can understand that returns are strong right now, but there is a lot of uncertainty around future electric vehicle adoption and the economics. We cannot put ourselves in the position of signing a contract that we cannot afford or that does not allow us to be competitive in the global market.”

Tuesday's expansion brought the total number of striking workers at 46 plants across the U.S. to 45,000, after 6,800 UAW members joined at Stellantis' Sterling Heights assembly plant in Michigan on Monday.

The UAW said the latest action was organized with the intention of surprising GM after Fain said earlier this month that the union would not wait until Friday to announce an expansion of the strike.

“This is the third time 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 extended the strike if an automaker did not make progress on reaching a deal in a fair manner. This phase of the strike actually produced significant progress, but then the Big Three began dragging out negotiations until close to each deadline,” the UAW said.