UAW members set to strike Mack Trucks after voting on tentative contract

UAW members attend a rally in support of a union strike at the UAW Local 551 hall on the South Side on October 7, 2023 in Chicago, Illinois.

Jim Wondruska | Good pictures

DETROIT – About 3,900 members of the United Auto Workers with Mack trucks will go on strike Monday after a majority of members rejected a tentative agreement reached by the union and the company last week.

The union said Sunday night that the tentative contract was rejected by 73% of UAW members who voted. Workers at factories in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Florida will strike at 7 a.m. Monday, the UAW said. Announced online.

The Mack Trucks workers will join tens of thousands of UAW members on strike, including more than 25,000 workers at General Motors, Ford Motor Company and Stellandis. The union began targeted strikes at select facilities against Detroit automakers on September 15. The union extended the strikes to every automaker.

The Mack Trucks contract was seen as a potential test of workers’ willingness to ratify a deal that did not meet the heightened expectations set by UAW President Shawn Fine for hourly wage increases, equal pay for equal work, inflation protection and short contracts. Work weeks.

A tentative contract with Volvo Group-owned Mack Trucks falls significantly short of the union’s demands in current negotiations with the Detroit automaker, leading some workers to tell CNBC last week that they would vote against the deal.

One Mack Trucks worker described it as “disgraceful” and “shameful” compared to their expectations, and now UAW international leaders are negotiating with the Detroit automakers, also known as the Big Three.

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“We are the low man on the totem pole and we don’t get any support from the international,” the materials technician of more than 10 years said on Friday. “They’re pushing this [tentative agreement] They don’t have to deal with us when the big three negotiate.”

Although Mack Trucks is a separate company and a different part of the union than the division that includes members with the Detroit automakers, some workers expected to receive the same benefits as their union brethren at the Detroit automakers.

The Make Drugs temporary contract varies by location and job but for many workers, includes a roughly 19% pay increase over a five-year contract, including 10% upon approval; $3,500 endorsement bonus; increased 401(k) company payments; and other benefits. It does not include eliminating pay tiers (it only has a one-year reduction, which brings the steps to five years); Re-establishment of traditional pensions; cost of living adjustments against inflation; or shorter work weeks.

UAW negotiators’ demands with Detroit automakers include a 40% wage increase, cost-of-living allowances (COLA), job/life balance and inflation protection in other bonuses and benefits.

Fine, who has publicly presented demands for Detroit auto workers, said Cola, job security, wage advances and Mack Trucks are among the remaining topics in negotiations.

“The members have spoken, and as the highest authority in our union, they have the final word,” Fein said in a statement released by the union on Sunday. The union is “committed to exploring all options to reach an agreement, but clearly we are not there yet,” he said.

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“The company is surprised and disappointed that the UAW has chosen to go on strike, which we feel is unnecessary,” Mack Drugs chairman Stephen Roy said.

“We are committed to the collective bargaining process and are confident that we can reach an agreement that provides competitive wages and benefits to our employees and their families, while protecting our future as a competitive company and sustainable long-term employer. We look forward to returning to negotiations as soon as possible,” he said. said in a release on Sunday night.

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