General Motors Co.
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Texas UAW Shop Asks for COVID-19 Production Halt

July 1, 2020
The Union wants Arlington Assembly plant closed "until the curve is flattened.”

Roughly five weeks since General Motors resumed U.S. production of vehicles, a local Texas chapter of the United Auto Workers is requesting the auto giant suspend operations in the Dallas-Fort Worth area Arlington Assembly plant as new COVID-19 cases in the state spike.

“Due to the most recent data on the COVID-19 outbreak, the Bargaining Committee has asked General Motors to shut down Arlington Assembly until the curve is flattened,” read a statement posted on the web site of UAW Local 276. “Although General Motors has put safeguards in place, the Center for Disease Control has repeatedly said that the only true way to stop the spread of this virus is to stay at home.”

The state of Texas is one of a number of states currently experiencing dramatic increases in new cases diagnosed per day. The day with the highest amount of new confirmed cases in Texas to date is June 26, when the Lone Star State recorded 5,921 new cases. According to the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine, Tarrant County, which includes Arlington and Fort Worth, Texas, has recorded 11,739 cases of COVID-19, with 225 deaths, and recently set its own new record for daily confirmed cases: On June 23, Tarrant County confirmed 544 new cases of the pandemic. Dallas County, just to the east of Arlington, has to date recorded 20,737 cases and 353 deaths.

General Motors previously shut down production nationwide for eight weeks alongside fellow Michigan carmakers Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Ford Motor Co. All three companies resumed production May 18, and according to the Detroit Times, both FCA and Ford have since ramped production back up to pre-pandemic levels. General Motors is currently in the process of returning to full production speeds.

GM is notably one of the only Michigan-based automakers to avoid losing money in the first quarter of 2020, despite a $1.4 billion impact from the virus: During the same period in which Ford and FCA both lost between $1.8-2 billion, GM managed to make a net income of $294 million. 

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