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June 7, 2021 1:00 PM, EDT

UAW Workers Reject Second Tentative Agreement With VTNA, Resume Strike

VTNAA worker at VTNA's plant in Dublin, Va. (Justin Ide/Bloomberg News)

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Volvo Trucks North America announced members of the United Auto Workers union at its New River Valley assembly operations in Dublin, Va., have resumed a labor strike following their rejection of a second tentative labor agreement.

The strike resumed at noon on June 7. Workers voted down the labor agreement the previous day.



“We have been in touch with the UAW but haven’t set the schedule yet, so we are not back in negotiations,” Jon Mies, senior vice president of corporate communications for Volvo Group, told Transport Topics on June 10. The union, in announcing the strike, said it was prepared to resume negotiations as early as June 9.

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UAW Local 2069 members rejected the common language in the latest TA by 90%, the hourly language by 90% and the salary language by 91% (up from 83% in the earlier TA), according to a Twitter post of the union’s signed document certifying the results.

In a letter June 7, Local 2069 pointed to the issues still to be resolved, including: wage increases, job security, wage progression, skilled trades, shift premium, holiday schedules, work schedules, health and safety, seniority, pension, 401(k), health care and prescription drug coverage, and overtime.

The letter noted the union is “confident further discussion of these, and other, issues will result in progress toward the goal of a contract that works for both the company and its employees.”

“It is difficult to understand this action,” NRV General Manager Franky Marchand said in a statement. “UAW international, regional and local leadership endorsed the tentative agreement, which provided significant economic improvements for all UAW-represented workers, and a package of benefits that is very competitive for our industry and region.”

Marchand said VTNA remains committed to the collective bargaining process, and is confident of arriving at “a mutually beneficial agreement.”

Volvo Group on June 1 announced its intention to distribute $2.3 billion to shareholders from its sale of UD Trucks to Isuzu Motors, an outcome some on the labor side have taken issue with. The proposed distribution will be put to a vote at a general meeting on June 29.

UAW Local 2069 did not answer phone calls seeking additional comment.

Contract negotiations began Feb. 8, but with little progress as a March deadline elapsed, workers decided to strike April 19. An initial TA was reached April 30. Workers rejected that, but agreed to return to the plant May 1 while negotiations continued. The second TA was reached on May 20.

The NRV plant employs more than 3,300 people, about 2,900 of whom are UAW members.

 

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