What a difference a year makes for workers at the General Motors Arlington Assembly Plant. In 2009, GM declared bankruptcy and the Arlington plant shut down for two months. Today the plant is running overtime to meet demand for the large sport utility vehicles produced there.
"Our trucks have been selling well. Year over year we've posted gains from the previous year," said Paul Graham, the plant's manager. The increases include:
The improving economy is one reason demand is up. Workers also believe GM is benefitting from recalls at archrival Toyota. "We don't have any problems like some of our competitors have," said 26-year employee, Steve Simpson.
Long-term concerns include higher government mileage standards and the price of gas. "Usually when the gas starts going up, people start buying less," said Simpson.
But for now, workers can barely keep up. "It's a great problem to have," said employee Barbara Duncan. She transferred to Arlington from a now-closed GM plant in Wisconsin. After a year filled with uncertainty, she is finally sleeping well. "We work too many hours to stay up at night!"