Volvo Trucks North America resumed production on Monday despite the ongoing strike of around 3,000 union workers.
The southwestern Virginia Volvo Trucks plant accepted a tentative agreement endorsed by leaders of the United Auto Workers Union and began implementation of that agreement on July 1st – an agreement that had been previously rejected by workers at the Volvo Trucks assembly plant in Dublin. Despite the plan’s rejection from the workers, Volvo states that workers who do return “will immediately receive the wage increases and benefits outlined in the July 1 agreement, except for the ratification bonuses that would be paid on contract ratification.”
“The strike is ongoing,” reiterated UAW spokesperson Brian Rothenberg in an email according to the Associated Press.
“The UAW is evaluating the company’s position and evaluating our legal options,” he wrote. “A new vote is scheduled Wednesday for the bargaining unit members on the company’s last, best and final offer.”
The Volvo plant in Dublin, Virginia is the largest manufacturer of Volvo semi trucks anywhere in the world, with a whopping 1.6 million square feet and 3,300 employees, 2,900 of whom are part of the UAW.
The last contract agreed upon by Volvo and UAW was reached back in 2016 and expired in March of this year, which spurred the beginning of negotiations in February. A brief strike took place from April 17th to April 30th, but workers went back to work when negotiations resumed. The UAW then rejected a proposed contract in May, and another on June 6th.
“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,” said Vice President and General Manager Franky Marchand.
“No one is gaining from the current situation, and we will consider all options related to the bargaining process.”