PULASKI COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — Shortly after United Auto Workers (UAW) rejected a new six-year labor agreement at the New River Valley truck assembly plant in Dublin, Volvo Trucks North America announced that the union decided to resume their strike at the plant.
“It is difficult to understand this action,” said NRV Vice President and General Manager Franky Marchand in a statement on Monday, June 7. “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.”
Workers previously held a strike at the Volvo plant in Dublin that ran from April 17 until April 30, but then returned to work as negotiations resumed.
UAW members rejected a proposed contract on May 16. Then, on Sunday, June 6, Volvo announced the union turned down another tentative agreement the parties agreed to on May 20, which covered approximately 2,900 members of UAW Local #2069 at the NRV plant.
WFXR News spoke with a UAW member and plant worker who did not want to be identified: “The last two contracts were a joke…The Volvo plant is a good place to work. Workers just want a livable and fair wage.”
This person also tells WFXR News that some workers take on heavy loads and perform strenuous activities. They say at least 90 percent of UAW members were not in favor of the deal the Union reached with Volvo.
Volvo says the 1.6 million square-foot Dublin plant is the largest manufacturer of Volvo tractor-trailer trucks in the world. It is one of the largest private sector employers in the region, with approximately 3,300 employees, roughly 2,900 of whom are represented by the UAW.
The plant is in the midst of a $400 million investment for advanced technology upgrades, site expansion, and preparation for future products, which includes the innovative Volvo VRN Electric truck.
Since the last union agreement was implemented in 2016, the plant has added 1,100 new jobs and is on track for a net increase of approximately 600 positions in 2021.