UAW workers reject Mack Trucks contract, will strike

By David Shepardson

(Reuters) -Union workers at Volvo Group-owned Mack Trucks overwhelmingly rejected a proposed five-year contract deal and will go on strike at 7 a.m. (1100 GMT) on Monday, the United Auto Workers said late on Sunday.

About 73% of workers voted against the deal covering 4,000 workers in Pennsylvania, Florida and Maryland, the UAW said.

The proposed deal had included a 19% pay hike, a $3,500 ratification bonus, improved retirement benefits, additional vacation for some employees and a reduction in the time needed to get to top pay.

“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,” UAW President Shawn Fain said in a statement late on Sunday.

Mack President Stephen Roy said in a statement the company was “surprised and disappointed” that the UAW has chosen to strike and called the move unnecessary.

“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.

The UAW said it would contact Mack to set dates to resume bargaining. Mack said it was committed to the collective bargaining process, and remained confident it would be able to reach an agreement.

“As you are aware, UAW members and workers across the economy are mobilizing to demand their fair share, the UAW said in a letter to Mack. “The union remains committed to exploring all options for reaching an agreement, but clearly we are not there yet.”

The rejection at Mack comes as the UAW has been on a targeted strike against facilities of the Detroit Three automakers since Sept. 15. About 25,000 of the 146,000 UAW employees at General Motors, Ford and Chrysler parent Stellantis are on strike.

Fain said on Friday the union would not expand the Detroit Three strikes, citing progress in talks, including that Ford had upped its proposed wage hike to 23% through early 2028.

Combined with proposed cost-of-living-adjustments, workers could receive pay increases of around 30%, people familiar with the proposal said.

Mack, founded in 1900, is one of North America’s largest manufacturers of medium-duty and heavy-duty trucks, engines and transmissions. Its trucks are sold in nearly 30 countries. Volvo bought Mack in 2000.

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Jamie Freed)