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How potential United Auto Workers strike would impact North Texas GM plant

Negotiators have until midnight Thursday to prevent a strike. The union president announced walkouts would initially be "targeted" to a select few facilities.

ARLINGTON, Texas — Vehicle manufacturers GM, Ford, and Stellantis and the United Auto Workers union have until 11 p.m. Sept. 14 to reach an agreement and stave off strikes. 

If no deal is made, union president Shawn Fain announced workers would initially walk out of a select few facilities. The union's intention is to simultaneously strike against each of the "Detroit Three" companies, he added. 

Fain said he'll announce Thursday at 9 p.m. which union chapters will first begin picketing, so it's not yet clear whether stalled negotiations would immediately impact the GM manufacturing facility in Arlington. 

If called to strike, more than 5,000 workers would walk out of the plant where Chevy, Cadillac, and GMC full-sized SUVs are assembled. The Arlington GM plant is Tarrant County's third-largest employer.  

Researchers at the Anderson Economic Group in Michigan predicted a 10-day strike against all three manufacturers would cost the American economy about $5 billion. 

Walkouts at GM facilities in 2019 cost the company about $3 billion and more than 300,000 cars, the manufacturer told its shareholders after the strike ended. 

Any strike at the Arlington plant would have "spillover effects" for DFW, Anderson Economic Group analyst Christina Benton said. 

"The UAW members on strike don't get that weekly paycheck," she said. "If they don't get paid, they will think twice about spending money."

Previous strikes have harmed businesses surrounding manufacturing plants, Benton added. They suffered a "lack of traffic."

Strikes would not immediately affect consumers hoping to purchase new vehicles, the group predicts. Most dealerships have replenished inventory since supply-chain interruptions and a microchip shortage laid barren most car lots. 

Anderson Economic Group rates a strike as likely, based largely on public rhetoric about ongoing negotiations. The two sides may compromise on wage increases, but the union's long-term demands are likely to give manufacturers heartburn, Benton said.  

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