The United Auto Workers union has informed Mack Trucks that their members voted against ratification of a new five-year collective bargaining agreement. The rejected deal would have covered approximately 3,900 employees at facilities in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Florida. Following that announcement, UAW said a strike at all of the covered facilities began on Oct. 9.
The tentative agreement included a 10% general wage increase in year one for all employees, a compounded 20% increase to general wages over five years, and a guarantee of no increases in health insurance premiums through the term of the contract.
“We are surprised and disappointed that the UAW has chosen to strike, which we feel is unnecessary,” said outgoing Mack president Stephen Roy. “We clearly demonstrated our commitment to good faith bargaining by arriving at a tentative agreement that was endorsed by both the International UAW and the UAW Mack Truck Council.
“The UAW called our tentative agreement ‘a record contract for the heavy truck industry,’ and we trust that other stakeholders also appreciate that our market, business, and competitive set are very different from those of the passenger car makers," he added.
Roy pointed out that Mack continues to build its trucks in the U.S. and has heavily invested in its workforce over the last decade.
“Mack Trucks is part of the only heavy-truck manufacturing group that assembles all of its trucks and engines for the North American market here in the United States,” Roy said. “And Mack continues to compete against products built in lower-cost countries. We have invested more than $435 million in our plants and logistics network over the last 10 years, and are now in the process of investing more than $1 billion in new Mack products."
“We are committed to the collective bargaining process, and remain confident that we will be able to arrive at an agreement that delivers competitive wages and benefits for our employees and their families while safeguarding our future as a competitive company and stable long-term employer. We look forward to returning to negotiations as soon as possible.”