United Auto Workers union members packed up their picket lines at Volvo Trucks North America’s New River Valley assembly plant Wednesday evening (July 14) after the union narrowly approved a new six-year contract.
The contract covers about 2,900 members of UAW Local #2069 at the NRV operations in Dublin, Virginia.
“This agreement allows us to continue providing our employees with a great quality of life, with guaranteed wage growth and excellent benefits,” said NRV Vice President and General Manager Franky Marchand in a news release. “It will also help secure the plant’s long-term growth and sustainability. Our focus now will be on getting trucks to customers as quickly as we can, and strengthening our relationship with our employees.”
Previously, union workers had rejected tentative labor agreements between the company and union leadership three times since the previous five-year contract expired in mid-March.
Volvo announced Sunday, July 11, that it was resuming operations Monday, July 12, strike or not, but UAW Local officials encouraged members not to cross the picket lines and announced there would be another vote on the most recently rejected contract Wednesday, July 14.
According to the UAW Local 2069 Facebook page in a Wednesday evening post, the contract narrowly passed, with 1,193 voting yes (50.3%) vs. 1,176 no on common language and 1,147 (50.4%) to 1,130 on hourly language.
Thursday and Friday are optional workdays, according to the union, with Monday, July 19, to be the first full return to work date.
The NRV plant employs more than 3,300 people, about 2,900 of whom are UAW members. The plant is in the midst of a $400 million investment for advanced technology upgrades, site expansion and preparation for future products, including the Volvo VNR Electric truck.