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Virginia Volvo Truck Workers Go On Strike

April 19, 2021
The UAW members are advocating for a new agreement that protects their families through job security and adequate wages and benefits, as well as their health and safety.

Update: Truck Strike Ends

The United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW) revealed on April 17 that over 2,900 UAW workers have gone on strike at Volvo Truck’s New River Valley (NRV) truck plant in Dublin, Va. According to UAW’s statement, the UAW members, who voted 96.8% in favor of striking if a deal was not reached by March 15, want a new agreement that protects their families through job security and adequate wages and benefits, as well as their health and safety.

“The UAW is disappointed that Volvo Truck has failed to present a substantial offer by the March 16 contract deadline despite a contract extension,” said Ray Curry, UAW secretary-treasurer and director of the UAW heavy truck department. “Our goal remains to achieve a fair tentative agreement for our members, their families and the community of Dublin.”

According to Curry, the members of UAW Local 2069 are committed to achieving a contract that is best for their families and the company.

“All of the UAW membership appreciates the sacrifice and picket line solidarity of our members at Volvo Truck,” said Curry. “It is not easy to strike on workers, their families or the community and we appreciate public support in Dublin for our skilled Volvo Truck workers and their families.”

Volvo’s reaction to the strike was also that of surprise and disappointment. 

“Progress was being made, and we had offered substantial increases in our employees’ compensation,” said Franky Marchand, NRV vice president and general manager. “We don’t understand why the UAW won’t allow our employees to continue building trucks while we continue negotiations.”

Mack Trucks, also owned by Sweden-based Volvo AG, dealt with its own UAW worker strike in Oct. 2019. That lasted for about two weeks.

According to Volvo, the NRV plant employs more than 3,300 people, about 2,900 of whom are UAW members. The plant is in the midst of receiving $400 million in advanced technology upgrades and site expansion to prepare for future products, including the Volvo VNR Electric truck, which is slated for the serial production launch this spring.

On April 16, Volvo revealed that they will deliver 14 VNR Electric trucks to food logistics supplier Quality Custom Distribution over the next two years, totaling 15 by the end of 2022.  

“Every day our UAW members leave their homes proud of the work they do at Volvo making some of the finest trucks in the world,” said Mitchell Smith, director of UAW Region 8. “Our members and their families made this sacrifice in order to get a fair contract offer that protects their wages, benefits and health and safety.”

The UAW has proposed a future bargaining date of April 26.

“We are committed to the collective bargaining process and look forward to getting back to the table,” said Marchand. “We are confident that we will be able to arrive at an agreement that provides a competitive wage and benefit package for our employees and families, and helps to ensure the plant’s competitiveness, long-term growth and sustainability.”

This article is shared with you courtesy of FleetOwner, an IndustryWeek sister publication at Endeavor Business Media. 

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