Volvo and UAW negotiations stay at an impasse in Dublin

New River Valley News

DUBLIN, Va. (WFXR)– After turning down a third offer from Volvo, members of United Auto Workers (UAW) are back on the picket line Monday after three rounds of negotiations between UAW and Volvo.

UAW members rejected the latest contract negotiated between the Union and Volvo on Friday, July 9. The latest contract stated it would pay most workers about $57,000 a year without overtime. It’s the latest move from the truck manufacturing company to keep the Dublin plant alive.

The ongoing strike has people around Dublin talking, including Patty Pelton, owner of Patty’s Kitchen.

“My brother, my sister-in-law, my nieces, my nephews, and a lot of people that come in the restaurant work at Volvo,” said Pelton.

Myranda Williams works at Patty’s Kitchen as a server and told WFXR News that the community is dependent on the plant.

WFXR News learned UAW provides strike pay for its workers but it is much less than their wages, and Pelton says families are feeling the strain.

In the last agreement, Volvo officials say they had offered to get rid of a two-tier wage structure, and to rocket employees hired before June 30 to top pay on day one of the new contract, among other benefits.

“They’re looking for part-time work, trying to make ends meet, and how it’s, they’re fighting for what’s right and what they, seems right, you know? And I agree with them,” said Pelton.

Volvo officials say they have created nearly 600 positions this year.

WFXR News reached out to Volvo and UAW, but neither side is talking about a conclusion to the contract. Union officials also told WFXR News that some of the workers have gone back to work, but the vast majority intend to stay out until a new contract is ratified.

Volvo says it will continue to bring in non-union workers from outside areas to keep production going.

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