Workers at Mack Trucks overwhelmingly rejected a tentative agreement on Sunday and walked off the job Monday. A statement by UAW President Shawn Fain said union negotiators are “committed to exploring all options” for a better settlement. The walkout at Mack comes as the strike at Detroit’s Big Three automakers stretches into its fourth week.
The 4,000 union workers at Mack Trucks walked off the job at 7 a.m. Monday after rejecting a proposed contract by a vote of nearly three to one.
Workers were asked by union leaders to exit “in an orderly manner” from five of the facilities run by the heavy truck manufacturer in Florida, Maryland and Pennsylvania. The rejected agreement had called for a 19% pay hike, as well as a $3,500 signing bonus, additional time off and some improvements to retirement benefits.
“I’m inspired to see UAW members at Mack holding out for a better deal, and ready to stand up and walk off the job to win it,” Shawn Fain, the president of the United Auto Workers Union, said in a post on X, the former Twitter.
Overwhelming “no” vote
In a letter outlining the results of the strike, along with the plan to strike, the UAW said the tentative agreement was rejected by 73% of those voting. It did not say how many Mack workers cast a ballot, however.
The walkout comes at a time of heightened labor activity across the United States. UPS workers won a substantial settlement after threatening to strike over the summer, while United Airlines pilots received a 40% pay hike averting a walkout there. The Writers Guild of America only agreed late last month to end a five-month walkout. Members of the Screen Actors Guild continue to walk the picket lines.
Big Three walkout continues
About 25,000 members of the UAW currently are walking picket lines across the country at more than 40 facilities run by General Motors, Ford and Stellantis. The union is engaged in a first-ever “stand-up” strike meant to target critical facilities operated by Detroit’s Big Three automakers.
UAW chief Fain decided not to expand the walkout last Friday, outlining progress made by negotiators working at all three companies. But the union has the ability to send nearly 150,000 members working at the companies out on strike if talks don’t move forward.
“Surprised and disappointed”
At Mack, president Stephen Roy said he was “surprised and disappointed” by the lopsided vote rejecting the company’s proposed contract.
“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,” Roy said in a statement.
Mack is one of the largest heavy truck manufacturers in North America. It was purchased by Volvo Trucks in 2000. The Swedish commercial vehicle manufacturer is not part of Chinese-owned but Swedish-based Volvo Cars.
The UAW and Mack intend to resume negotiations, but a precise time has not yet been announced.