Mack Trucks workers begin strike after rejecting deal with UAW

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

The deal covering roughly 4,000 employees in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Florida was turned down by 73 percent of vote, the United Auto Workers announced late Sunday. It would have raised wages 20 percent over the life of the contract — starting with a 10 percent bump the first year — and frozen health insurance premiums.

“The members have spoken, and as the highest authority in our union, they have the final word,” UAW president Shawn Fain said in the strike notice.

The union remains committed to reaching an agreement, he said, but “clearly we are not there yet.” Fain said there are still a number of topics at issue, including provisions related to pay, work schedules, benefits, and health and safety.

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

“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,” Roy said.

In a Sunday bargaining update, the company also seemed to push back on comparisons to other automakers. “Given other negotiations in the news, it’s important to emphasize that Mack’s market, business, and competitors are very different from those of the passenger carmakers,” the company said.

UAW doesn’t expand strike, citing progress in talks with Ford, GM

The UAW has had targeted strikes underway against the Big Three automakers — General Motors, Ford and Chrysler parent Stellantis — since Sept. 15. Recent developments in those negotiations may have raised expectations for union workers at Mack, as Ford agreed to boost its own wage increase to 23 percent over four years. That offer, which also brought GM battery manufacturing facilities under the national union contract, was enough to prevent the union from widening the strikes but not enough to end them.

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


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