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UT of Arlington professor shares potential domino effect if UAW strike continues for long period of time

Dr. Ashish Sedai at UTA shared that if the UAW strike continues it could have a local impact, especially on subcontractors.

ARLINGTON, Texas — Arlington GM autoworkers are closely watching history. For the first time ever, their union, the UAW, is on a rotating strike against all big three automakers across the country. 

In North Texas, Dr. Ashish Sedai from the University of Texas at Arlington is also watching the strike closely. Sedai is an expert in labor economics. 

"Union workers are saying, your profits are back to normal," Sedai said. "All those companies, all those supply chains, people involved in the supply chain will be affected if this strike goes on for a long period of time." 

According to local 276 President Keith Crowell, GM's Arlington plant is responsible for 35% of company profits. In Arlington, they are still working on the assembly lines. But the union for the 5,000 coworkers has prepared picket signs. 

"I don't want to strike. Strikes are hard. It takes a toll on our families," said Crowell. 

The CEOs of the three automakers had hoped to avoid a strike with counter offers. However, the UAW continues to push for pension and four-day work weeks on top of a 40% pay increase. 

Mary Barra serves as chief executive officer at General Motors. During an interview with ABC News, when asked about her multi-million-dollar annual salary, Barra shared that the 20% pay increase from GM to factory workers was considered one of the best offers ever from her company.  

"I don't know where the 40% came from," Barra said. "I will tell you from an executive compensation perspective that 92% of my compensation is based on performance." 

Ford CEO Jim Farley, who earned nearly $21 million in 2022, according to FCC filings, shared his vision for the future with ABC News.  Farley also shared that Ford could not sustain itself by moving to a four-day workweek. 

"My goal is just totally focused on making sure we have a vibrant future for everyone, especially our factory workers," he said.

For now, work continues at the factory on Abram Street, one of the biggest employers in Tarrant County. 

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