The United Auto Workers Union set to strike across factories, possibly Arlington

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As threats of a strike in the auto industry loom, General Motors employees in Arlington arrived for their afternoon shift Wednesday afternoon. The United Auto Workers Union or UAW’s contracts with the big three automakers, General Motors, Ford Motor Company and Stellantis are set to expire Thursday at 11:59 p.m.

UAW's President Shawn Fain has rejected all offers. The union has continued to ask for several items including a 46% increase over four years, a reduced workweek of 32 hours, and more retirement benefits.

Fain took to social media Wednesday afternoon for an update on negotiations.

“September 14 is a deadline not a reference point,” Fain said. “They are staring down a well-organized and pissed-off workforce that’s ready to what it takes to win a strong contract.”

It remains unclear if the strike would be limited to one of the three companies at the same time.

According to experts, Arlington’s GM Assembly Plant, which employs about 5,400 employees, could be one of the targets for the strike. Over the summer GM announced an investment of $500 million to produce future SUVs in Arlington.

According to Dr.Ashish Sedai, Assistant Professor of Economics at UT Arlington, there are advantages to local strikes that include targeted pressure, negotiation flexibility, cost savings, and minimizing the impact on other workers.

“Industry-wide strikes can disrupt the income and work of all union members, including those that are not directly involved in the dispute,” Sedai said. “If you strike locally, it reduces the coordination costs.”

The UAW has a strike fund of approximately $185 million however, Sedai and other economists said it could deplete quickly.

Sedai said the labor union has to pay, "$500 for a worker every day... If they all strike at once, it is estimated that the resources will last for 11 weeks without health insurance."

The union's contracts with the big three automakers are set to expire Thursday at midnight.

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