Unionized employees at three Daimler Truck North America (DTNA) plants have ratified new contracts that call for provisions to enhance scheduling flexibility, improve efficiency and reduce operating costs, DTNA said. All three plants are located in North Carolina and together employ approximately 1,640 people, although DTNA said employment levels at the Mt. Holly and Cleveland Truck manufacturing plants will “increase significantly” in the future. The company did not disclose the specific plans.
“We view these agreements as a significant milestone in securing our U.S. production footprint,” said Martin Daum, DTNA president & CEO. “We would like to express our sincere appreciation to the UAW leadership and to our employees at all three locations for their commitment to the negotiation process. Together, we dealt with many difficult but necessary issues in a realistic and constructive way and we look forward to continuing a productive partnership. The new agreements required compromise and sacrifice on both sides but will help position us to compete successfully on a global level in years to come.”
Workers at all three plants are represented by the United Auto Workers (UAW). A tentative agreement was reached on April 10 with workers voting this past weekend to approve the contracts.
“These were by no means easy negotiations,” said UAW vp General Holiefield, who directs the union’s heavy trucks dept. “Like so many industries, the heavy trucks business has had some setbacks because of the economy,” he said. “But our team tackled the issues realistically and came away with agreements that we can confidently take to the membership for ratification.”
The contracts go into effect tomorrow. The contracts for the Mt. Holly and Cleveland facilities include baseline production commitments.
The Mt. Holly Truck Manufacturing plant builds medium-duty Freightliner trucks and currently employs 140. The Cleveland Truck facility, which employs 830, builds heavy-duty Freightliner trucks. The third plant, the Gastonia Components and Logistics plant in Gastonia, NC, manufactures truck parts and components. It employs approximately 670.