3 Weeks In and No End in Sight for Striking General Motors Workers

There is still no sign of a deal to end the General Motors strike which has now entered a third week.

The latest proposal was rejected Monday by United Auto Workers union bargainers.

Nearly 50,000 union workers are on strike, halting production in the U.S. including at Arlington's own GM assembly plant.

The picket lines line East Abram Street, as Arlington's GM plant sits idle.

"A of people are supporting us because they understand: you don't work, you don't eat," GM worker Joshua Thompson said.

Union employees stand their ground despite the Texas heat.

"I'm trying to get used to the heat," Lawrence Rice said. "There's lots of it."

Rice transferred to Arlington from GM's flagship plant in Detroit.

He said he's getting to know his co-workers at a job he hasn't even been able to start.

"I was here for one week doing orientation and then we went on strike," he said with a chuckle. "It's been a little rough."

In the latest offer on Monday, GM offered a wage increase or lump sum payments in all four years of a proposed contract.

The offer was rejected by the UAW reportedly because it took money from other places to fund profit-sharing, and didn't give temporary workers a clear path toward a full-time position.

"[Temporary workers] work next to us. They're part of us. They sweat the same sweat," Rice said. "They still pay union dues, but they don't get hired. They don't get the benefits."

Some members said they just wanted a bigger share of the more than $30 billion in profits GM has made in the past five years.

"We've given up enough," Rice said. "How about they give up something? Or at least give us something back that they've taken from us."

Thompson said he's been with the company for a decade and only recently moved to Arlington's plant from Tennessee.

He spent his first day on the picket line on Thursday.

"We definitely need our healthcare for sure. Healthcare is very important," he said.

However, Thompson called for both sides to find a middle ground and conceded there should be more realistic expectations when it comes to pay for new employees.

"It's like on a professional team," he said. "Tom Brady probably makes the most money. So if you're just coming in or if you've been in for a couple years, you're not going to make what Tom Brady makes. It takes time to get there. We have to understand that as a unit."

Rice is holding firm on his call for the fight to take as long as it needs to.

"I'll probably have to get a second job. That's OK for however long that we're out. I'm still in support of this," he said.

Union members earn $250 a week in strike pay while they're on the picket lines; about one-fifth of what they normally make.

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