ARLINGTON (CBSNewsTexas.com) - On Tuesday the United Auto Workers expanded its nationwide strike to include the 5,000 workers at General Motor's Arlington plant, GM's largest plant nationwide.
Despite the rain, cold and wind on Sunday, GM workers spent the day on the front lines of the Stand Up Strike, a nationwide strike for better pay and benefits for workers at America's big three automakers GM, Ford and Stellantis.
"We haven't had a raise in years, we've been giving and giving and giving and now I think they should consider us," said Gloria Dennis-Thomas, a GM quality inspector and a member of UAW Chapter 287.
Dennis-Thomas has worked for GM for almost 40 years. She'd like to retire, but she just can't.
"The cost of living, everything is extremely high and people with 30, 40 years they want to retire and go on out but everything is so high and we do need a raise," said Dennis-Thomas.
GM's Arlington plant produces some of the company's most profitable vehicles.
"At this plant, we make a lot of money we produce a lot of trucks per day maybe 12 to 1,300 per day each shift so yeah we just want our fair share," said UAW member Jimmie Dean.
The union says GM's latest offer failed to give workers a fair share of their record profits. This week GM reported 3.5 billion dollars in third-quarter earnings.
"We work so hard to produce quality and quantity for GM and I feel that management should be able to negotiate and understand where the people who are producing the products for them they should understand that we want them just to consider us," said Dennis-Thomas.
GM called the expansion of the strike to the Arlington facility "unnecessary and irresponsible". On Sunday UAW President Shawn Fain outlined a tentative deal the union made with Ford.
"For every member, the money will be significant, for many members it will be life-changing," said UAW President Shawn Fain,
The Tentative deal with Ford includes:
- 25 percent increase in wages for Ford employees
- 150 percent raise for Ford temps
- Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA)
The striking GM workers in Arlington want GM to agree to some of those same benefits.
"Hopefully they'll come with an agreement and we'll be able to sign the paperwork so that we can get back to work," said Dennis-Thomas.
The UAW has also reached a tentative agreement with Stellantis but negotiations with GM continue.
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