In yet another dark turn for Truc October, Mack Truck employees represented by United Auto Workers have failed to come to an agreement with parent company Volvo Group. Effective at 11:59 pm on Saturday, workers will leave the facilities in Pennslyvania, Maryland and Florida.
This is the first time in over 30 years that Mack has met a strike, according to The Morning Call :
It will be Mack's first strike since 1984, when a nine-day strike led to 9,200 workers at idle and kept the manufacturer's US plant closed before a preliminary agreement was reached.
"Over the past three months, we have met with company representatives in an effort to address questions raised by our members," Curry wrote to D. William Waters, Director of Employment and Labor at Volvo Trucks North America , Mack's sister company under the Swedish-based Volvo Group's umbrella. "We are disappointed that the company failed to make a significant offer before its expiration date of October 1or during subsequent meetings held during the period we extended the contract."
The The previous contract between the workers and Mack expired on October 1, but union workers have continued to operate under the previous agreement until today, but the parties continue to disagree on wage increases, health services, work plans and other important issues, so UAW is ramping up pressure on Mack to admit.
In a statement mentioning that the company was "committed to the collective bargaining process" and proud to be part of the only heavy truck group that assembled all of its engines and trucks to the US market in the US, Mack Trucks President Martin Weissburg offered said:
"We are surprised and disappointed that UAW decided to strike, rather than letting our employees continued to build trucks and engines while the parties continued to negotiate. The positive working relationship between local UAW management and management at our facilities was evident during awareness negotiations and progress was made.
The statement also noted that Mack Trucks has continued to invest in US production despite competition from trucks assembled in low cost markets, a contrast to outsourcing production at the center of UAW's conflict with General Motors.
However, like GM, Mack already had an over-supply of vehicles before the strike. The Morning Call reports that the company was already planning to idle to its lower Macungie, Pa facility for two weeks in the fourth quarter.