The United Auto Workers union ended a 13-day strike Friday at Volvo Trucks North America (VTNA), clearing the way for production to resume Monday at the Swedish truck makers’s only North American manufacturing facility.
Volvo said only that a tentative agreement was reached on a new five-year contract to replace a pact of the same length that expired on March 16. It declined comment on the deal until a ratification vote by the 2,900 affected rank-and-file workers.
UAW Local 2069 members walked off their jobs for the first time since 2008 after a 30-day extension expired April 17. Workers had voted 96.8% in favor of authorizing a strike.
The local union told strikers to remove picket signs from the New River Valley plant in Dublin, Virginia, by 6 a.m. Friday and prepare to go back to work beginning with Sunday’s third shift.
Strikers miffed over lack of information
Neither the company nor the union immediately released contract details. That angered some union members, who took to social media with their complaints.
“We should not have to go to work on an agreement we do not agree on,” one member wrote on the Local 2069 Facebook page. “We voted to strike for a reason. Not to make corporate and UAW jobs easy.”
Wrote another: “We have the right as UAW local 2069 members to know what was tentatively agreed on before going back to work!!! This needs to be demanded by everyone that walked the picket lines!!! Our leadership needs to be forthcoming with what was agreed on before Monday/Sunday night!!!”
Volvo declined to reveal how much production was lost from the strike or whether it would be made up.
The truck manufacturer faced downtime this quarter because of a global shortage of semiconductors — microchips that run various functions from power windows to safety systems. VTNA parent Volvo AB said downtime could add up to a month this quarter depending on the plant involved.
Coincidentally, the strike at VTNA was identical in length to a walkout at Volvo Group sibling Mack Trucks in Pennsylvania in 2019.
Unlike the Mack strike, which affected parts distribution centers and a Maryland engine plant, the VTNA strike impacted only production at New River Valley.