Thousands of union workers at Mack Trucks, a subsidiary of Volvo Group, have decided to go on strike from Monday morning, rejecting a tentative contract agreement that they say fails to meet their expectations. The United Auto Workers (UAW) announced on Sunday night that 73% of its members voted against the proposed deal, which would have covered 4,000 workers in Pennsylvania, Florida and Maryland.
The UAW said the workers are mobilizing to demand their fair share of the profits and benefits that the company has enjoyed in recent years. The union also said it remains committed to exploring all options for reaching an agreement, but clearly they are not there yet.
The proposed deal had included a 19% pay hike over five years, a $3,500 ratification bonus, improved retirement benefits, additional vacation for some employees and a reduction in the time needed to get to top pay. However, the workers were not satisfied with these terms and wanted more concessions from the company.
Mack Trucks expresses surprise and disappointment
Mack Trucks said it was surprised and disappointed by the strike announcement, calling it unnecessary and counterproductive. The company said it had reached a tentative agreement that was endorsed by both the International UAW and the UAW Mack Truck Council.
Mack President Stephen Roy said in a statement that the company was committed to the collective bargaining process and remained confident that it would be able to reach an agreement with the union. He also said that the company had demonstrated its commitment to good faith bargaining by offering a competitive package that included significant wage increases and other benefits2.
Strike adds to labor unrest in auto industry
The strike at Mack Trucks comes amid a wave of labor unrest in the auto industry, as UAW members have been on a targeted strike against facilities of the Detroit Three automakers since Sept. 15. About 25,000 of the 146,000 UAW employees at General Motors, Ford and Stellantis are on strike over various issues, such as wages, health care, job security and electric vehicle production.
The UAW said on Friday that it had made significant progress in contract talks with the Detroit Three and would not expand the strikes, citing improved offers from the automakers. For example, Ford had upped its proposed wage hike to 23% through early 2028, which could result in pay increases of around 30% for workers when combined with cost-of-living adjustments.
However, the strike at Mack Trucks shows that the UAW is not backing down from its demands and is willing to take action to secure better deals for its members. The strike could also have an impact on the supply chain and production of trucks, as Mack is one of North America’s largest manufacturers of medium-duty and heavy-duty trucks, engines and transmissions.