UAW workers strike at Volvo Truck Plant in New River Valley – Equipment

Production halted April 17 at Volvo Trucks North America’s New River Valley assembly plant in Dublin, Virginia, as approximately 2,900 United Auto Workers members went on strike .

A five-year collective agreement expired in mid-March. The walkout occurred after the expiration of a 30-day extension. It was the first such strike for Volvo since 2008.

The strike comes at a time when heavy truck manufacturers are already struggling to keep pace with high demand. Volvo and its sister company Mack Trucks have previously said they expect downtime at their factories this quarter due to a global shortage of microchips. It also comes as Volvo ramps up production of its new heavy-duty electric truck.

“The UAW is disappointed that Volvo Truck did not make a substantial offer by the March 16 contract deadline despite a contract extension,” said UAW Secretary-Treasurer Ray Curry, director of the UAW. UAW Heavy Truck Department, in a statement. “Every day our UAW members leave their homes proud of the work they do at Volvo, building some of the best trucks in the world.”

The UAW has proposed that the next negotiation date be Monday, April 26.

Volvo officials said the strike came as a surprise.

“Progress was underway and we had proposed substantial increases in the compensation of our employees,” NRV vice president and general manager Franky Marchand said in a statement. “We don’t understand why the UAW won’t allow our employees to continue building trucks while we continue negotiations. We are engaged in the collective bargaining process and we look forward to getting back to the table.

Volvo Truck Assembly Plant in New River Valley.

Photo: Volvo Trucks North America

In an April 16 strike notification letter posted to the UAW local’s Facebook page, the union said many topics remained unresolved, including pay increases, job security, progression wages, skilled trades, shift premiums, vacation schedules, work schedules, health and safety. , seniority, pension, 401 (k), health care and prescription drug coverage, and overtime.

The Volvo Group is the only heavy-duty truck manufacturing group that assembles all of its trucks and engines for the North American market in the United States, according to the company. The NRV plant employs more than 3,300 people, of which approximately 2,900 are UAW members.

The plant is in the midst of a $ 400 million investment for advanced technology upgrades, site expansion and preparation for future products, including the Volvo VNR Electric truck, which will start production in series is expected this spring. The plant has created 1,100 jobs since the implementation of the current union agreement in 2016 and is on track to register a net increase of around 600 jobs in 2021, according to the company.

Leon E. Hill

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.