On Monday morning, United Auto Workers (UAW) union members at Mack Trucks, a subsidiary of the Volvo Group, commenced a strike following their substantial rejection of a proposed five-year contract, according to the UAW. This strike marks another instance of rank-and-file workers voting down tentative labor agreements.
Approximately 73% of workers, totaling 4,000 employees in Pennsylvania, Florida, and Maryland, voted against the contract deal.
Throughout the year, labor unions in various industries, including automotive, shipping, and healthcare, have employed labor actions to maintain leverage during contract negotiations.
Public opinion has largely supported these unions’ demands. Over the past year, both freight rail and FedEx workers rejected tentative agreements negotiated by union leadership and employers.
The UAW has been conducting targeted strikes against facilities of the Detroit Three automakers since September 15. Currently, about 25,000 of the 146,000 UAW employees at General Motors (GM), Ford, and Stellantis (formerly Fiat Chrysler) are on strike.
The proposed Mack contract included a 19% wage increase, a $3,500 ratification bonus, enhanced retirement benefits, increased vacation days for some workers, and a reduction in the time required to reach top-tier wages.
UAW President Shawn Fain expressed support for Mack workers, stating that he is inspired by their commitment to securing a better deal.
Following the rejection of the contract by Mack employees, the UAW sent a strike notice to the company. Several key issues, including wage increases, cost-of-living allowances, job security, and wage progression, remain unresolved.
Mack President Stephen Roy expressed disappointment and surprise at the strike decision, emphasizing that the company had reached a tentative agreement approved by both the International UAW and the UAW Mack Truck Council.
Mack, acquired by Volvo in 2000, is one of North America’s prominent manufacturers of medium and heavy-duty trucks, known for assembling all its trucks and engines in the United States.
The UAW intends to resume negotiations with Mack, emphasizing its commitment to exploring all avenues for reaching an agreement.
Fain noted progress in talks with the Detroit Three automakers and confirmed that the strikes at those companies would not expand. Ford, in particular, increased its proposed wage hike to 23% through early 2028, potentially resulting in a pay increase of around 30% for workers when combined with cost-of-living adjustments.