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Mack Trucks Criticizes UAW for ‘unreasonable economic demands’

On Friday Oct. 20, Mack Truck executives said that the United Auto Workers Union (UAW) is ignoring three months of good faith bargaining by submitting, “unreasonable economic demand,” for their workers.

“Unfortunately, the new UAW economic demands are completely unrealistic,” said Mack President Stephen Roy. “We’ve already shown that we’re prepared to provide our employees with significantly improved wages, but we are not prepared to jeopardize the company.”

Union President Shawn Fain said in a letter to Mack parent company Volvo Trucks that 73% of workers voted against the deal in results counted on on Oct. 8

The strike started with 13,000 UAW members going on strike, then a few days later, a second round of strikes at 38 locations in 20 states.

Ford was spared while union leadership, led by union President Shawn Fain, told members to walk off the job at 38 parts distribution facilities for GM and Stellantis.

UAW added an additional 7,000 workers to the strike, this time not sparing Ford but leaving Stellantis out of the third round. 

In the fourth round, the union directly targeted Ford, announcing the shutdown of the automaker’s Chicago assembly plant along with GM’s assembly facility in Lansing, Michigan. 

Following the fourth round, Ford executives held a media briefing Friday afternoon where CEO Jim Farley said there was still time to make a contract deal that would “avert a real disaster, but not much more time, given the fragility of the supply base of all the companies.”

Two weeks ago, negotiators reached a deal with Mack, which included a 19% pay raise over the life of the contract with 10% upon ratification. 

There also was a $3,500 ratification bonus, no increase in weekly health care contributions, increased annual lump sum payments for retirees and a $1,000 annual 401k lump sum to offset health care costs for employees who don’t get health insurance after retirement.

“I’m inspired to see UAW members at Mack Trucks holding out for a better deal, and ready to stand up and walk off the job to win it,” Fain said in a prepared statement. “The members have the final say, and it’s their solidarity and organization that will win a fair contract at Mack.”

Mack Trucks President Stephen Roy said in an Oct. 8 statement that the company is “surprised and disappointed” that the union chose to strike. “We trust that other stakeholders also appreciate that our market, business and competitive set are very different from those of the passenger car makers,” the statement said.

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