The United Auto Workers launched a strike against Volvo Truck after a month of discussions failed to make much headway.
“The UAW is disappointed that Volvo Truck has failed to present a substantial offer by the March 16 contract deadline despite a contract extension,” said UAW Secretary-Treasurer Ray Curry, Director of the UAW Heavy Truck Department.
“Our goal remains to achieve a fair tentative agreement for our members, their families and the community of Dublin, Virginia.”
Curry said the 2,900 Volvo employees want a new agreement “that protects their families through job security, adequate wages and benefits and protects their health and safety. He added the striking members of UAW Local 2069 are committed to achieving a contract that is best for their families and the company.
Union says strike a tough choice
“Every day our UAW members leave their homes proud of the work they do at Volvo making some of the finest trucks in the world. Our members and their families made this sacrifice in order to get a fair contract offer that protects their wages, benefits and health and safety,” said Mitchell Smith, director of UAW Region 8.
“It is not easy to strike on workers, their families or the community and we appreciate public support in Dublin for our skilled Volvo Truck workers and their families,” added Curry, adding “the UAW has proposed a future bargaining date of Monday, April 26.”
While the strike is underway and workers have walked out and started picketing, the letter reminds the reader that the union does wish to resolve the issues.
UAW says key issues remain unresolved
“We are surprised and disappointed that the UAW decided to strike,” said NRV Vice President and General Manager Franky Marchand in a statement. “Progress was being made, and we had offered substantial increases in our employees’ compensation. We don’t understand why the UAW won’t allow our employees to continue building trucks while we continue negotiations.
“We are committed to the collective bargaining process, and look forward to getting back to the table. We are confident that we will be able to arrive at an agreement that provides a competitive wage and benefit package for our employees and families, and helps to ensure the plant’s competitiveness, long-term growth and sustainability.”
Volvo Truck officials haven’t commented further.
“The Union remains committed to exploring all options for reaching an agreement,” Curry said in a letter posted on Facebook.
“As you know, many topics remain unresolve, including wage increases, job security, wage progression, skilled trades, shift premiums, holiday schedules, health and safety, seniority, pension, 401(k), healthcare and prescription drug coverage and overtime.
“We are confident that further discussion of these, and other open issues, will result in progress toward the goal of a contract that works for both the Company and its employees.”