UAW-represented Mack Trucks workers near strike deadline

United Auto Workers-represented workers at Mack Trucks could strike as soon as Monday. The current agreement, signed after a two-week strike in 2019, expires Sunday night.

Most attention is focused on an expanding strike against the Detroit Three automakers — General Motors, Ford and Stellantis. The situation involving 3,900 union members at Volvo Group North America facilities in three states has attracted little attention.

Mack is part of the Greensboro, North Carolina-based Volvo Group which includes Volvo Trucks North America.

Most of the workers who would be affected by a strike are at Mack’s Lehigh Valley Operations in Pennsylvania, which includes an assembly plant in Lower Macungie Township and a remanufacturing operation in Middletown.

Other operations include parts distribution centers in Jacksonville, Florida, and Baltimore and a powertrain plant in Hagerstown, Maryland, that builds engines for Volvo and Mack. VTNA has a separate union agreement. The UAW struck Volvo for five weeks in 2021 after extending talks for 30 days.

Some union grumbling and a company retort

Some back-and-forth in recent days suggests an agreement may be elusive. The UAW struck Mack for 12 days in October 2019 after extending talks for two weeks. The walkout ran concurrent with a UAW strike at GM that lasted 40 days.

Mack and Volvo are the only major heavy-duty truck makers that produce all their trucks for North America in the United States.

“So far, the negotiations have been painfully slow,” union leaders wrote in a letter Thursday to members and posted on the Local 677 website. “Aside from their counters on wage demands, the company has rejected almost every demand of consequence that we proposed.”

Mack disputed the union’s criticism of the pace of negotiations.

“While it is true that the parties are currently far apart on the economics, this is not unusual at this point in the negotiations, and we expect progress in the coming days,” the company wrote in a bargaining update Thursday.

Mack makes only Class 8 trucks, including the Anthem, Pinnacle, Granite, TerraPro and LR models.

Since the last agreement, Mack established its Roanoke Operations in Virginia to build the medium-duty Class 6 and 7 MD Series trucks. The Roanoke workers are not members of the union, Volvo Group spokesman John Mies told FreightWaves.

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