On April 17, about 2,900 United Auto Workers went on strike at Volvo Trucks North America’s New River Valley (NRV) plant.
NRV Vice President and General Manager Franky Marchand said the company was “surprised and disappointed that the UAW decided to go on strike.” Marchand also added that there was the progress in negotiations with the union and employees have been offered substantial increase.
UAW Secretary-Treasurer Ray Curry, Director of the UAW Heavy Duty Truck Department, said more than 2,900 UAW NRV workers were committed to a new agreement “that would protect their families through job security, decent wages and benefits and protect their health and safety.”
The next negotiation is scheduled for Monday, April 26th.
Earlier, union members voted 97% to strike if the agreement was not reached by March 15. On this day, the five-year contract expires. However, the UAW decided to keep employees on the job, signing a 30-day renewal as work toward an agreement continued.
Marchand does not understand why the UAW prevents the employees from building trucks while negotiations continue.
Previously, the UAW went on strike at NRV in February 2008 and an agreement was reached the following month. Since the entry into force of the current union agreement in 2016, the plant has added 1,100 jobs. According to Volvo, 600 more jobs will be created in 2021.