Even as the United Auto Workers strike against Detroit automakers appears to be resolved, the union has still not come to an agreement with Mack Trucks on the terms of a new five-year bargaining agreement.
Mack said it was able to reach tentative agreements last week with UAW negotiators on the four local agreements it pledged in early October. Those agreements, however, are part of a new five-year bargaining agreement that was voted down by United Auto Workers members Oct. 8.
Workers went on strike Oct. 9, and there is no agreement yet on the five-year agreement.
No Bargaining Agreement Yet
Despite reaching an agreement on the local agreements, that does not mean the finalization of the bargaining agreement is closer. Mack said, “UAW leadership’s economic demands at the master contract level continue to be unrealistic.”
“The agreement reached on Oct. 1 delivered a very competitive package of wages and benefits, while protecting our ability to keep making the necessary investments in our people, plants, and products,” said a Mack statement on the portion of its website sharing information about the Mack-UAW labor negotiations.
The four local agreements, as specified in early October and again more recently, stipulate:
- The average wage increase over five years would be 36%, with an average immediate wage increase for all covered employees of nearly 15%.
- For employees not yet at the top rate – nearly half the total workforce – the average increase over five years would be 55%, and the average immediate wage increase would be more than 20%.
- Most employees already at the top rate would receive an immediate wage increase of 10%, and up to 20% compounded over five years, even though company research shows that these employees are already above market rates.
- Premiums for the company’s healthcare coverage – which have not increased in more than six years despite a 66% increase in the company’s costs over the last decade – would remain unchanged for five more years.
The five-year bargaining agreement covers workers at Mack production facilities in Macungi (Lehigh Valley), Pennsylvania; Middletown, Pennsylvania; Hagerstown, Maryland; Baltimore, Maryland, and Jacksonville, Florida; and covers approximately 3,900 employees.
Taking Sides Over COLA
Mack and the UAW are still at odds over a cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) inclusion in the new five-year agreement.
UAW said significant gains were made by local union groups on the local supplements; however, the union still says there will not be an agreement until COLA is put into the master agreement.