UAW workers strike at Volvo Trucks North America plant – Equipment

The second strike in two months comes as Volvo begins production of its VNR Electric.

Photo: Volvo Trucks North America

Members of the United Auto Workers are on strike again at Volvo Trucks North America’s truck assembly plant in New River Valley in Dublin, Virginia, after workers reject a tentative deal for the second time.

VTNA employees represented by the United Auto Workers rejected a new six-year labor agreement on June 6. A strike was scheduled to begin at noon on June 7. The NRV plant employs more than 3,300 people, of which approximately 2,900 are members of the UAW.

It is the second strike this year as the two sides struggle to reconcile.

The previous five-year contract expired in mid-March and production ceased on April 17 after a 30-day no-deal extension expired. It was the first such strike for Volvo since 2008.

An agreement in principle was reached on April 30 and production resumed on May 3, but this agreement was firmly rejected by the base on May 16.

The two sides quickly reached a second agreement in principle on May 20, this time a six-year deal. It included changes such as an increase in the lump sum for retirees, reduction of salary progression from eight years to a six-year program, a new attendance policy allowing workers to leave earlier with authorization, bonuses for lower insurance and lower costs. maximum on health insurance, a requirement that employees be notified if they will be required to work daily overtime no later than mid-shift, and other changes.

However, members overwhelmingly rejected the new tentative agreement, with 90% voting no, and even more voting against the wording of wages than against the terms of the first agreement. On social media, many workers complained that it was not substantially better than the first version.

In his Monday, June 7 letter to VTNA advising workers to go on strike at noon, Ray Curry of the UAW’s Heavy Truck Department said, “There are many issues that remain in dispute, including wage increases, job security, wage growth, skilled trades, shifts. bonus, vacation hours, working hours, health and safety, seniority, pension, 401 (k), health care and prescription drug coverage and overtime.

The letter indicates that the union is available to resume negotiations from Wednesday, June 9.

“It’s hard to understand this action,” NRV vice president and general manager Franky Marchand said in a statement. “The UAW’s international, regional and local leaders have endorsed the tentative agreement, which has brought significant economic improvements to all workers represented by the UAW and a very competitive set of benefits for our industry and region. . We remain committed to the collective bargaining process and are confident that we will ultimately reach a mutually beneficial agreement. “

The strike comes at a time when heavy truck manufacturers are already struggling to keep pace with high demand and a global shortage of microchips. It also comes as Volvo ramps up production of its new heavy-duty electric truck.

Leon E. Hill

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