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Union members approve two languages, reject one in Volvo ratification vote

UAW Local 2069 remains on strike

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DUBLIN, Va.UPDATE - (9:15 p.m. - July 14, 2021)

Members of the United Auto Workers Local 2069 took another vote on a proposed employment agreement between Volvo Trucks North America Wednesday evening.

The results are in, and here’s the breakdown of the votes:

  • Common Language: No 1176 to Yes 1193
  • Hourly Language: No 1130 to Yes 1147
  • Salary Language: No 54 to Yes 40

This means common language and hourly language passed while salary language failed.

This is the third tentative labor agreement UAW 2069 has rejected.

Below is a statement from Volvo regarding the vote:

“This agreement allows us to continue providing our employees with a great quality of life, with guaranteed wage growth and excellent benefits,” said NRV Vice President and General Manager Franky Marchand. “It will also help secure the plant’s long-term growth and sustainability. Our focus now will be on getting trucks to customers as quickly as we can, and strengthening our relationship with our employees.”

The NRV plant employs more than 3,300 people, about 2,900 of whom are UAW members. The plant is in the midst of a $400 million investment for advanced technology upgrades, site expansion and preparation for future products, including the innovative Volvo VNR Electric truck. The plant has added 1,100 jobs since the last union agreement was implemented in 2016 and is on track to have a net increase of approximately 600 positions in 2021.


UPDATE - (3:21 p.m. - July 11)

There will be another vote on a proposed employment agreement between United Auto Workers Local 2069 and Volvo Trucks North America on Wednesday.

This comes after members of UAW rejected the third tentative agreement approved by UAW leadership on Friday.

The union took to Facebook to announce that the company met with a bargaining team and International on Sunday and added that once the company gives their last, best and final offer there will be no more bargaining.

While the company has given notice that it will be implementing the third tentative agreement effective on Monday, July 12, the union says it remains on strike.

The vote will take place between 6:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.

Here is a statement from Volvo regarding its plans to resume production under terms of the final tentative agreement come Monday:

“We need to safeguard our future, and start building trucks for the many customers and dealers whose businesses and livelihoods depend on our products,” said NRV Vice President and General Manager Franky Marchand. “Our last offer delivered significant wage gains and first-class benefits for our employees, and 40% of UAW voters supported it. We look forward to welcoming employees back to the plant, and to getting back to building the industry’s best heavy-duty trucks.”

The Volvo Group is the only heavy-duty truck manufacturing group that assembles all of its trucks and engines for the North American market in the United States. The NRV plant in Dublin, Virginia employs more than 3,300 people, about 2,900 of whom are UAW members. The plant is in the midst of a $400 million investment for advanced technology upgrades, site expansion and preparation for future products, including the innovative Volvo VNR Electric truck. The plant has added 1,100 jobs since the current union agreement was implemented in 2016 and is on track to have a net increase of approximately 600 positions in 2021.


UPDATE - (8:30 p.m. - July 9, 2021)

Volvo Trucks North America announced Friday that members of the United Auto Workers union (UAW) Local 2069 rejected the third tentative agreement approved by UAW leadership.

The agreement was reached on July 1.

In a post to Facebook, UAW 2069 gave the ratification vote results:

  • Hourly Language: 60% No & 40% Yes
  • Common Language: 60% No & 40% Yes
  • Salary Language: 67% No & 33% Yes

Below is a statement from Volvo regarding the rejection:

“Given the significant wage gains and first-class benefits this agreement delivered, and the strong support it garnered from UAW leadership at every level, this outcome is unexpected and very disappointing,” said NRV Vice President and General Manager Franky Marchand. “Now that our employees have rejected three successive agreements endorsed by the leaders they elected to represent them, we need to consider our next steps. The ongoing strike – which we continue to believe is unnecessary – is hurting our customers, and has already set back our project to expand and upgrade the facility. No one is gaining from the current situation, and we will consider all options related to the bargaining process.”

The Volvo Group is the only heavy-duty truck manufacturing group that assembles all of its trucks and engines for the North American market in the United States. The NRV plant employs more than 3,300 people, about 2,900 of whom are UAW members. The plant is in the midst of a $400 million investment for advanced technology upgrades, site expansion and preparation for future products, including the innovative Volvo VNR Electric truck. The plant has added 1,100 jobs since the current union agreement was implemented in 2016 and is on track to have a net increase of approximately 600 positions in 2021.


UPDATE - (7:30 p.m. - July 1, 2021)

Volvo Trucks North America announced that officials have reached and the United Auto Workers union (UAW) have reached a tentative agreement after nearly a month on strike.

On June 7, UAW rejected Volvo’s labor proposal and announced members will begin to go on strike.

This agreement includes a new, six-year contract that covers about 2,900 employees at the Dublin plant.

Previously, the union rejected a five-year contract.

Below is a statement from Volvo on the tentative agreement:

If ratified by the UAW membership, this agreement would: eliminate the two-tier wage structure; immediately take any employee currently in wage progression and hired on or before June 30, 2015 to top pay; institute a six-year progression to top pay for all employees, giving credit for years of active service; increase the new hire starting pay by more than 14 percent; and guarantee no increases in health insurance premiums over the life of the contract for the plant’s best-in-class health insurance coverage, an employee benefit which represents a cost of more than $20,000 a year per employee.

The Volvo Group is the only heavy-duty truck manufacturing group that assembles all of its trucks and engines for the North American market in the United States. The NRV plant employs more than 3,300 people, about 2,900 of whom are UAW members. The plant is in the midst of a $400 million investment for advanced technology upgrades, site expansion and preparation for future products, including the innovative Volvo VNR Electric truck. The plant has added 1,100 jobs since the current union agreement was implemented in 2016 and is on track to have a net increase of approximately 600 positions in 2021.


UPDATE - (10:30 a.m. - June 7, 2021)

After the United Auto Workers rejected Volvo’s labor proposal, the union announced it will strike at noon on Monday.

In a statement posted to Facebook, UAW 2069 said employees working at the time will leave the facility “in an orderly manner after performing any tasks necessary to prevent damage to the company’s equipment or product.”

The union listed out topics that remain an issue, including wage increases, job security, wage progression, shift premium, holiday schedules and more.

You can read the full post below:


UPDATE - (10:15 a.m. - June 7, 2021)

Volvo is responding after the United Auto Workers rejected the labor proposal.

You can read the full statement below:

“It is difficult to understand this action,” said NRV Vice President and General Manager Franky Marchand. “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. We remain committed to the collective bargaining process, and we are confident that we will ultimately arrive at a mutually beneficial agreement.”

Franky Marchand, NRV vice president and general manager

“It is difficult to understand this action,” said NRV Vice President and General Manager Franky Marchand. “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. We remain committed to the collective bargaining process, and we are confident that we will ultimately arrive at a mutually beneficial agreement.”


UPDATE - (June 6, 2021)

After reaching a tentative agreement with Volvo in May, the United Auto Workers have rejected the labor proposal.

The proposal included a six-year contract that would cover about 2900 employees at the New River Valley truck assembly operations in Dublin.

“We are committed to the collective bargaining process, and remain confident that we will ultimately be able to reach a mutually beneficial agreement,” said NRV Vice President and General Manager Franky Marchand.

Negotiations began back in February.


ORIGINAL STORY

Volvo Trucks North America announced Sunday that employees represented by the United Auto Workers (UAW) rejected a new five-year labor agreement covering approximately 2,900 members of UAW Local #2069 at the New River Valley truck assembly operations in Dublin.

The company has been informed that UAW-represented employees will report to work on Monday.

“We look forward to working with the UAW to resolve whatever the outstanding issues are, and we remain confident that we will be able to reach a mutually beneficial agreement,” said NRV Vice President and General Manager Franky Marchand.

Negotiations began on Feb. 8 and the negotiating teams reached a tentative agreement on April 30. The UAW had ended its strike against the NRV plant in light of the tentative agreement and resumed production on May 3.

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


About the Authors:

Nicole Del Rosario joined WSLS 10 in August 2020.

Samantha Smith joined WSLS 10’s award-winning digital team as a digital content producer in July 2018.