UAW employees will strike at Mack Trucks after rejecting contract

Mack Trucks, UAW Reach Tentative Deal Just Before Strike Deadline

DETROIT – Mack Trucks and the United Auto Workers union reached a tentative agreement Sunday night on a new 5-year contract, narrowly avoiding a walkout by over approx. 3,700 workers. Intense negotiations went down to the wire, with both sides expressing determination to avert another costly strike.

Last-Minute Negotiations Produce a New Contract

The proposed contract was announced just hours before the existing agreement expired at midnight on October 1st. “Our bargaining committee worked tirelessly over the last few days to reach an agreement that treats UAW Mack members with the respect they deserve,” said Ray Curry, UAW Secretary-Treasurer. The deal provides increased wages, bonuses, and improvements to healthcare and retirement benefits for UAW employees at Mack plants in Maryland, Florida and Pennsylvania.

Details of the Tentative Agreement

Specific details of the tentative agreement have not been released. But sources say it includes the following improvements for UAW members:

  • Wage increases of 3% annually over 5 years
  • $9,000 in bonus payments over the life of the contract
  • Extra paid time off
  • Enhanced health insurance with lower deductibles
  • Increased company contributions to retirement plans

Mack officials noted the deal allows them to remain competitive. “We’re pleased to reward our hardworking employees while keeping Mack strong for the future,” said Martin Weissburg, Mack Trucks president.

Ratification Vote Next Step

The tentative agreement will now go to a ratification vote by UAW-represented workers at Mack. The voting is expected to take place in the next two weeks. UAW leaders are urging members to ratify the deal.

Both Sides Eager to Avoid Another Walkout

In 2019, a 40-day strike over failed contract negotiations caused significant production disruptions at Mack facilities. The lengthy walkout halted assembly lines and cost Mack millions in lost production and sales. This deal proves Mack Trucks and the union can work together for mutual benefit. Assuming UAW members ratify the new contract, operations will continue without interruption through at least 2028.

Industry Impacts

The heavy-duty trucking industry can breathe a sigh of relief that a smooth labor agreement has been reached. Mack Trucks is one of the top producers of Class 8 trucks in North America. A strike could have caused major delivery delays right before the busy holiday season.

Now Mack can focus on manufacturing top-quality vehicles and engines without the threat of a walkout. That benefits Mack, its workers, and customers who rely on Mack trucks. Volvo Group, Mack’s parent company, can also now avoid the financial pain of a Mack Trucks strike.

Ongoing Labor-Management Collaboration

This deal sets the stage for ongoing collaboration between UAW leaders and Mack management over the next five years. Both sides will need to work together to implement the contract and handle any new issues that emerge.

Mack Trucks will need to boost productivity and efficiency in the face of stiff competition and an uncertain economy. Good-faith bargaining by the UAW helps Mack respond to market challenges. In turn, Mack must uphold its commitments to UAW workers.

If the spirit of compromise shown in these negotiations continues, Mack Trucks and the UAW can strengthen their partnership. That bodes well for the company’s future in the North American trucking industry.

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