Union workers at Volvo Trucks North America's New River Valley (NRV) truck assembly plant in Dublin, Virginia, narrowly ratified a new six-year agreement, which ends a strike that began this spring.
The United Auto Workers Local No. 2069 ratified an overall agreement (1,193 voted yes to 1,176 voted no) and hourly agreement (1,147 to 1,130) but voted down a new contract for salaried workers (54 to 40).
The UAW represents about 2,900 of the plant’s 3,300 employees. Workers are expected to return by Monday, July 19.
“This agreement allows us to continue providing our employees with a great quality of life, with guaranteed wage growth and excellent benefits,” Franky Marchand, the NRV vice president and general manager, said. “It will also help secure the plant’s long-term growth and sustainability. Our focus now will be on getting trucks to customers as quickly as we can and strengthening our relationship with our employees.”
According to the UAW, the six-year agreement includes eliminating the second tier, health care premiums protected for the life of the agreement, provides protections around shift scheduling and plant operations, and provides a major signing bonus and aggressive annual wage improvements every year of the agreement.
“The democratic process played out at Volvo Trucks,” Ray Curry, president of the UAW and director of its Heavy Truck Department, said. “UAW members stood together through their strike, and now the overall agreement and hourly agreement have been ratified despite the company’s actions earlier in the week.”
Curry said the UAW Constitution has an established process to address the concerns raised by members over the salary agreement that narrowly failed by 14 votes.
The NRV plant is in the midst of a $400 million investment for advanced technology upgrades, site expansion, and preparation for future products, including the Class 8 Volvo VNR Electric truck. The plant has added 1,100 jobs since the last union agreement was implemented in 2016 and is on track to have a net increase of approximately 600 positions in 2021, according to a VTNA statement.