On the evening of April 1, 2021, about 4,000 autoworkers at the General Motors SUV plant in Arlington, Texas, went on strike after rejecting a proposed three-year deal with the company. The plant is the largest SUV-making facility in the world, and produces the vehicles sold under the Cadillac, Chevrolet, and GMC brands.
The strike is part of an ongoing series of labor actions that have unfolded at multiple GM plants across the United States over the past few weeks. This latest work stoppage follows a similar strike of over 6,000 workers at GM’s parts plant in Lansing, Michigan earlier in March. Workers at GM’s transmission plant in Toledo, Ohio, also went on strike the same day as the Texas plant, while workers at other plants around the country have been participating in work stoppages and strikes as well.
The strike in Arlington has grown and spread quickly. On April 3, an additional 700 workers at the Arlington plant had joined the walkout, and by April 5, the total had grown to more than 5,000.
The strikers have a variety of demands, including better pay, more job security, and better safety and health checks. The union representing the workers, the United Automobile Workers, is also calling on GM to close the plant’s gender pay gap and to give the workers a say in the matters that affect their safety, pay, and working conditions.
The strike is the latest in a series of labor action that is slowly building up to wider unionization efforts at the company. Although GM has said that it is disappointed by the strike, it remains committed to working with the union to reach an agreement. Talks are expected to resume soon, with both sides expressing hope for an amicable resolution.