A prolonged autoworkers strike could have unintended consequences for small businesses near GM’s Arlington Plant.
The recent United Auto Workers (UAW) strike at GM’s largest assembly plant in Arlington is causing concerns about the negative impact an extended walkout could have on small businesses in the area.
Felicia Brown said she has gotten used to seeing “a nice little lunch crowd” when working her job at Daiquiri Depot, an Arlington-based soul food restaurant located near the plant, reported Fox 4 KDFW.
“They are here every day,” Brown said, referring to the plant’s employees.
With so many workers on strike at GM’s Arlington plant, Brown said she hopes the walkout ends soon.
“There’s a lot of people that work over there, so hopefully no one is really negatively affected by this for too long,” she said, per Fox 4. “We are here to serve the community, and GM is a big part of the community … so it would definitely affect us.”
“We hope that it doesn’t,” she added.
As part of the ongoing strike against the “Big Three” automakers, UAW called upon an additional 5,000 union members to join the strike at GM’s Arlington plant.
“Another record quarter, another record year. As we’ve said for months: record profits equal record contracts,” UAW President Shawn Fain said in a statement. “It’s time GM workers, and the whole working class, get their fair share.”
The UAW’s demands include a 40% wage increase and the inclusion of electric vehicle battery workers in the union contract, among other quality-of-life enhancements and benefit improvements.
According to Brown, some of the employees at Daiquiri Depot also work part-time at the GM plant.
“They’ve been there part-time for a couple of years with minimum benefits, not able to get the hours they need or the pay they need,” she explained, per Fox 4. “So, I hope that whatever they’re fighting for, that it works out for them quickly.”
In response to UAW’s latest walkout, GM released a statement criticizing the decision, stating that the company provided the UAW with a comprehensive offer.
“We are disappointed by the escalation of this unnecessary and irresponsible strike. It is harming our team members who are sacrificing their livelihoods and having negative ripple effects on our dealers, suppliers, and the communities that rely on us,” GM said. “It is time for us to finish this process, get our team members back to work, and get on with the business.”
While the UAW has hit a negotiation roadblock with GM, the union said Wednesday it had reached a tentative contract agreement with Ford.
“We told Ford to pony up, and they did,” said Shawn Fain, UAW president, per the Associated Press. “We won things no one thought possible.”
The agreement with Ford should lay the groundwork for potential contracts with GM and Stellantis, according to Sam Fiorani, vice president of global vehicle forecasting at AutoForecast Solutions. He claimed the next two contracts should “fall in line fairly quickly,” according to Reuters.