The UAW asked GM to idle the Arlington facility last month after a worker in the chassis department at the plant tested positive for COVID-19, but GM denied the request. Now the union is once again asking GM to temporarily close the facility due to COVID-19 related concerns, but the automaker says it still sees no need to halt production.
GM spokesman Jim Cain told Bloomberg this week that GM is aware of the UAW’s request to idle Arlington Assembly, but does not believe workers there are at risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19 due to the various safety protocols it has in place at the plant.
GM is apprehensive to shut down Arlington Assembly as the plant is the only production location for its wildly popular line of full-size SUVs, which includes the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, GMC Yukon and Yukon XL and Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV. The automaker is currently trying to ramp up production of the all-new, recently unveiled, 2021 model year SUVs and any snags in the production process could set the automaker back and cause it to lose sales to the Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator, among other segment rivals.
As of this writing, there have been around 167,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Texas and 2,482 deaths. The UAW has not responded to GM’s dismissal of its request to idle Arlington Assembly and the plant remains open for the time being.
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