About 3,900 United Auto Workers members employed by Mack Trucks went on strike this morning after most members rejected a tentative agreement struck by the union and firm last week.
According to the union, 73% of UAW members rejected the proposed agreement. In a statement made online by the UAW, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Florida site employees went on strike at seven in the morning.
On September 15, the union targeted Detroit automakers’ facilities with strikes. Since then, the union has increased tenfold. Furthermore, the striking UAW members at Mack Trucks will join tens of thousands of others, including more than 25,000 General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis workers.
The Mack Trucks agreement was seen as a possible test of whether or not employees would agree to ratify a contract that fell short of the high standards that UAW President Shawn Fain had set for record contracts, including increases in hourly pay, equal compensation for equal labor, protection from inflation, and shorter work weeks.
The tentative deal with Volvo Group-owned Mack Trucks fell significantly short of what the union demanded in negotiations with the Detroit automakers. For instance, one employee called the agreement “disgraceful” and an “insult” compared to their expectations and what is now being discussed by UAW international officials with the Big Three.
Some employees at Mack Trucks expected to receive the same raises and benefits as their union counterparts despite the Volvo group being a separate company and a different portion of the union from the branch representing members with the Detroit automakers.
According to Stephen Roy, president of Mack Trucks, the company is “surprised and disappointed that the UAW has chosen to strike, which we feel is unnecessary.”
“We remain hopeful that we can reach an agreement that provides competitive salaries and benefits for our employees and their families while securing our future as a competitive business and a dependable long-term employer because we are dedicated to the collective bargaining process. We anticipate starting negotiations again as soon as possible,” he continued.