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UAW Workers Ratify Four-Year Contract At Mack Trucks

FreightWaves

The United Auto Workers voted 79% in favor of a new four-year contract at Mack Trucks following a 12-day strike that idled six facilities in three states and halted production at Volvo Trucks' only assembly plant in North America.

Voting among union locals ended Sunday. The union walked out for the first time in 35 years on Oct.14 and put down their picket signs on Oct. 25. The new agreement is a year longer than the three-year agreement that expired Oct. 1. Negotiations toward a new deal continued under the terms of the expired pact until the union called the strike.

Mack President Martin Weissburg told FreightWaves on Oct. 28 that Mack should be able to make up production lost during the strike because new orders are slow and the backlog of trucks awaiting production is shrinking.

The UAW said the new contract includes:

  • A $3,500 contract signing bonus
  • A minimum 6% wage increase for all classifications over the life of the agreement
  • A $1,000 lump sum payment effective Oct. 3, 2021
  • An automatic 401(k) contribution of 4%
  • No increase to weekly healthcare contributions
  • No changes to the healthcare plan design

"Through the new four-year agreement, the UAW looks to further expand its long-term relationship with Mack Trucks," said Ray Curry, UAW secretary-treasurer and director of the UAW Heavy Truck Department.

"The members at Mack were able to hold the line on health care and add job security provisions and substantial raises during a difficult economic time in the industry," he said.

Orders for Class 8 trucks like those made at Mack's assembly plant in Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley have fallen in each of the past 10 months compared with the same month a year earlier. Orders set a record in several months in 2018, leading to a slowdown this year.

Mack and Volvo planned two weeks of downtime this quarter to shrink inventories. The companies have declined to comment on whether the down weeks are still in the plan.

The strike at facilities in Pennsylvania, Florida and Maryland included an engine and transmission plant in Hagerstown, Maryland, that Mack shares with Volvo Trucks, its Volvo Group corporate sibling. Volvo temporarily laid off 3,000 workers when it ran out of engines and transmissions for its VNL and VNR Class 8 trucks.

Mack's Weissburg spoke positively about the settlement.

"The new agreement allows us to continue providing our UAW-represented employees and their families with an attractive package of wages and benefits while safeguarding the company's competitiveness and supporting the success of our customers," he said in a statement.

Image by Peter H from Pixabay

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