Volvo Trucks Plays Hardball With UAW After Third Failed Attempt to Reach Labor Deal
Dublin, VA – Volvo Trucks North America (VTNA) has issued its final offer to more than 2,900 United Auto Workers (UAW) union members who staff its largest assembly plant.
Workers at Volvo’s New River Valley (NRV) truck assembly plant have been on strike — for the second time this year — since June 7 after overwhelmingly voting down the second “tentative” labor deal.
Last week, UAW Local 2069 rank-and-file voted down a third “tentative” agreement reached between VTNA and union negotiators on July 1.
After the third failed attempt, VTNA signaled it would likely take a different approach moving forward.
On Sunday, that’s exactly what VTNA did.
In a statement, the truck maker said that beginning on Monday, July 12, it would “implement the terms and conditions of the [third] tentative agreement” and once again begin production.
“Any employees who return to work on July 12 or thereafter will immediately receive the wage increases and benefits outlined in the July 1 agreement, except for the ratification bonuses that would be paid on contract ratification,” VTNA said.
NRV Vice President and General Manager Franky Marchand explained the decision to ramp up pressure on Local 2069 rank-and-file was an effort to “safeguard our future and start building trucks for the many customers and dealers whose businesses and livelihoods depend on our products.”
“Our last offer delivered significant wage gains and first-class benefits for our employees, and 40% of UAW voters supported it,” Marchand said.
In communication via its Facebook page, Local 2069 leadership implored members not to end the strike until a ratification vote — scheduled for Wednesday, July 14 — could be held.
“Basically, they are trying to break our union,” UAW leadership said in response to VTNA’s final offer. “We are asking you not to do that.”
Local 2069 members who choose to return to work before the ratification vote will receive a $2,000 sign on bonus no matter the outcome of the upcoming ratification vote.
If the previously rejected offer is ratified, workers who return to work by Monday, July 19, will also receive the bonus.
However, if the rank-and-file vote the deal down again, even those who return to their jobs after the failed vote would not receive the bonus.
Based on the responses on social media, there are cracks forming.
Some members are incensed at VTNA while others are frustrated with UAW negotiators.
TransportationNation.com will continue to follow the story.