Last week, in order to avoid their own production shutdown, Mack Trucks had reached a tentative agreement with the UAW.
“We are surprised and disappointed that the UAW has chosen to strike, which we feel is unnecessary,” Mack President Stephen Roy said via emailed statement.
“We clearly demonstrated our commitment to good faith bargaining by arriving at a tentative agreement that was endorsed by both the International UAW and the UAW Mack Truck Council. The UAW called our tentative agreement ‘a record contract for the Heavy Truck industry,’ and we trust that other stakeholders also appreciate that our market, business, and competitive set are very different from those of the passenger car makers,” he added.
The rejected agreement included a 10% general wage increase in year one for all employees, a compounded 20% increase to general wages over five years, and a guarantee of no increases in health insurance premiums through the term of the contract.
According to UAW President Shawn Fain, “Our members at Mack voted by 98% to authorize a strike.” The existing contract between the union and the manufacturer expired at Midnight on October 1.
According to the five-year contract, 3,900 employees across three plants in three states, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Florida, as well as the truck maker’s customers.
“The terms of this tentative agreement would deliver significantly increased wages and continue first-class benefits for Mack employees and their families,” Mack President Stephen Roy stated in a release. “At the same time, it would allow the company to successfully compete in the market, and continue making the necessary investments in our people, plants, and products.”
During a Facebook livestream on Sept. 29, UAW President Shawn Fain had some choice words for the company.
“Sadly, Mack Truck is following the same tired playbook as so many of our other employers,” he said. “They’re dragging out bargaining until the very last minute. The company took three weeks to respond to our economic demands and then they put a long list of concessions on the table.”