Mack truck workers begin strike after rejecting deal with UAW

Thousands of unionized Mack Trucks workers walked off the job Monday after overwhelmingly rejecting a proposed five-year contract.

The deal, covering about 4,000 workers in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Florida, was rejected by 73 percent of the vote. United Auto Workers announced Sunday late night. This would have increased wages by 20 percent over the life of the contract – starting with a 10 percent increase in the first year – and reduced health insurance premiums.

“The members have spoken, and as the highest authority in our union, they have the last word,” UAW President Shawn Fenn said in the strike notice.

The union is committed to reaching an agreement, he said, but “clearly we’re not there yet.” Fenn said several topics are still at issue, including provisions related to pay, work schedules, benefits and health and safety.

MAC President Stephen Roy said the company was “surprised and disappointed” by the vote, noting that union representatives had called the tentative agreement “historic” when it was announced on October 2.

“We are committed to the collective bargaining process, and are confident that we will be able to reach an agreement that provides competitive wages and benefits for our employees and their families while protecting our future as a competitive company and stable long-term employer. Will provide,” Roy said.

In Sunday’s trading update, the company also appeared to emphasize comparisons with other automakers. “Given other conversations in the news, it’s important to emphasize that Mack’s market, business and competitors are very different from passenger car makers,” the company said.

UAW won’t extend strike, citing progress in talks with Ford, GM

The UAW has carried out targeted strikes since September 15 against Stellantis, the parent company of three major automakers – General Motors, Ford and Chrysler. Recent developments in those negotiations have raised hopes for union workers at Mack, as Ford has agreed to raise their wages. An increase of 23 percent in four years. That proposal, which also brought GM battery manufacturing facilities under the national union contract, was enough to keep the union from escalating strikes but not enough to end them.

Mack is best known for its semi trucks, although it also makes construction equipment, firetrucks and has a defense division that makes military-grade construction vehicles. It is owned by Swedish manufacturer Volvo.

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