United Auto Workers boss Shawn Fain must be infuriated with Detroit’s Big Three this week. He hit General Motors’ largest and most profitable SUV plant in Arlington, Virginia, with a 5,000-member strike on Tuesday, following news Monday the union hit Stellantis’ RAM 1500 truck plant in Michigan with a strike.
GM’s Arlington Assembly plant manufactures the Chevy Tahoe, Chevy Suburban, GMC Yukon, and Cadillac Escalade. UAW’s 5,000-member strike announcement comes hours after GM reported quarterly profits that exceeded expectations. However, the automaker retracted its full-year forecast due to anticipated financial challenges in the fourth quarter, especially as the strike approaches its sixth week.
“Another record quarter, another record year. As we’ve said for months: record profits equal record contracts.” said Fain, adding, “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.
On Monday, UAW hit Stellantis’ Sterling Heights Assembly Plant in Michigan with a 6,800-member strike. The total number of UAW workers on strike is now 45,000, or about 30% of the union.