Nearly 3,000 workers at Volvo’s truck plant located in Dublin, Virginia have gone on strike.
A five-year agreement between the United Auto Workers and Volvo expired in mid-March. The UAW made the decision to strike after the expiration of a 30-day extension. Workers had voted 96.8% in favor of authorizing a strike.
The UAW said it is seeking improvements to wages, job security and benefits.
“We are surprised and disappointed that the UAW decided to strike. Progress was being made, and we had offered substantial increases in our employees’ compensation. We don’t understand why the UAW won’t allow our employees to continue building trucks while we continue negotiations. We are committed to the collective bargaining process and look forward to getting back to the table. We are confident that we will be able to arrive at an agreement that provides a competitive wage and benefit package for our employees and families, and helps to ensure the plant’s competitiveness, long-term growth and sustainability” said plant management in a statement.
Volvo’s New River Valley location employs more than 3,300 people, about 2,900 of whom are UAW members. The 1.6 million-square-foot Dublin plant is the largest manufacturer of Volvo tractor-trailer trucks in the world.
“The UAW is disappointed that Volvo Truck has failed to present a substantial offer by the March 16 contract deadline despite a contract extension,” said UAW Secretary-Treasurer Ray Curry, director of the UAW Heavy Truck Department, in a statement. “Every day our UAW members leave their homes proud of the work they do at Volvo making some of the finest trucks in the world.”
The UAW proposed the next bargaining date be Monday, April 26.
The plant has added 1,100 jobs since the current union agreement was implemented in 2016 and plans to add 600 positions in 2021, according to the company.