Mack, United Auto Workers reach tentative agreement to end strike

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Mack Trucks said it will bring its UAW-represented employees back to work as soon as possible, and expects to have its industrial system ramped up to full production in several days. (Courtesy: MACK TRUCKS)

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Mack Trucks Thursday said the company and the United Auto Workers union reached a tentative agreement on the terms of a new four-year agreement that would cover approximately 3,500 employees at six facilities in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Florida.

In conjunction with the tentative agreement, the UAW has ended its strike against the affected facilities, effective 9 a.m. on October 25.

The company will bring its UAW-represented employees back to work as soon as possible, and expects to have its industrial system ramped up to full production in several days.

Further comment by Mack officials is being withheld pending ratification by the various UAW Locals involved in the negotiations. Ratification meetings are being scheduled by the UAW.

The union did comment, however.

“Through great sacrifice, UAW members at Mack have achieved significant gains toward fair pay, benefits and job security protections,” said UAW Secretary-Treasurer and Director of the UAW Heavy Truck Department Ray Curry.

Curry said the strike will be suspended and Mack workers will be scheduled to return to their jobs.

“It is not easy to strike for a member or their family,” Curry said. “It is impressive the unity that Mack UAW members and their families have shown. We can’t thank enough the surrounding communities for the outpouring of support for our striking families.”

The union said details of the tentative agreement will be withheld until UAW members can be briefed prior to ratification.

“Out of respect for our members, we will refrain from discussing details publicly until they can be fully briefed. Ultimately it is our members’ contract, and UAW Mack members will make the final decision as they vote,” Curry said.

Some 3,500 United Auto Workers members at Volvo-owned Mack Trucks walked off the job for the first time in 35 years October 12 at six locations across three different states.

According to the official news release on the UAW’s website, the strike is to protest unfair pay, compensation and benefits for workers and their families.

The locations of the walkouts mainly occurred at the Local 677 union in Allentown and Middletown, Pennsylvania; unions Local 171 and 1247 in Hagerstown, Maryland; Local 2301 in Baltimore, Maryland; and Local 2420 in Jacksonville, Florida.

“UAW members get up every day and put in long, hard hours of work from designing to building Mack trucks,” Curry said in a statement when the union announced the strike. “UAW members carry on their shoulders the profits of Mack and they are simply asking for dignity, fair pay and job protections.”

“We are surprised and disappointed that the UAW decided to strike, rather than to allow our employees to keep building trucks and engines while the parties continued to negotiate,” said Mack Trucks President Martin Weissburg when the strike was initiated. “The positive working relationship between local UAW leadership and management at our facilities was clearly in evidence throughout the negotiations, and progress was being made.”

Mack Trucks is part of the Volvo Group.

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