ARLINGTON (CBSNewsTexas.com) — Arlington's GM assembly plant was operating as usual Friday, with employees there not among the first round of strikes ordered by the United Auto Workers.
The UAW Local 276 was still preparing for its members to be next, with assignments posted for days and locations where thousands of them would spend four-and-a-half-hour shifts on the strike line, if it comes to that.
The initial targeted strike makes sense opposed to a mass walk out, according to Dr. Ashish Sedai, an assistant professor of economics at UT Arlington.
"I don't know if UAW wants to completely exhaust its resources, because the credibility of the strike diminishes as weeks progress," he said, referencing the limited pay the union could provide members while they are off the job.
The Arlington plant makes some of the company's largest, most popular and profitable SUVs. GM announced a $500 million investment in the plant in June, preparing it to produce future internal combustion engines for full size SUVs.
While the plant appears to figure in to the company's long-term plans, Sedai pointed out the automotive manufacturing business is still undergoing a shift to more technologically intensive production. Workers are in a precarious spot then, he said, as they strike, wanting to be protective of the positions they have, while also achieving some sort of relief from inflation.
"So they want to strike but they also fear that the way the production of cars is happening, will we become redundant in the future?" he said. "Will we ever get a chance like this to strike? So that kind of builds even more passion amongst people to strike now because this seems to be the red hot time."
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