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Mack Trucks strike narrowly avoided as company reaches tentative deal with UAW union

By Paradise Afshar and Chris Isidore, CNN

New York (CNN) — An 11th-hour tentative contract agreement reached between Mack Trucks and the United Auto Workers union late Sunday narrowly averted a strike by 3,900 employees at the company.

“More details to come as members review the [tentative agreement],” UAW said on X, the platform formally known as Twitter, just nine minutes before the union’s contract was set to expire at 11:59 pm ET. Ratification by the rank-and-file is now needed for the contract to go into effect and put the risk of a strike to rest.

News of the deal at the heavy-duty truck maker comes as the union continues to wage strikes against three major car manufacturers.

The union’s stated bargaining goals at Mack mirrored many of its demands in the talks with the Big Three automakers, including improved wages and health care and pension benefits. But details of the agreement were not immediately released by the union or the company.

“The terms of this tentative agreement would deliver significantly increased wages and continue first-class benefits for Mack employees and their families,” said Mack President Stephen Roy. “At the same time, it would allow the company to successfully compete in the market, and continue making the necessary investments in our people, plants and products.”

The tentative agreement showed the union’s willingness to reach an agreement on its ambitious bargaining demands. If it had gone on strike, it would have been another drain on the resources in the union’s strike fund, which stood at $825 million heading into the work stoppage at the other three automakers.

There are now more than 25,000 UAW members on strike at the three companies after the union expanded its targeted strike to two more assembly plants on Friday. Each striker is receiving $500 in strike benefits. The union is also paying the same benefits to about 3,000 members who have been laid off by the companies because their work had been disrupted during the strike. That means nearly a $14 million a week drain on the fund.

There are other UAW members on strike elsewhere also receiving the same strike benefit, including more than 1,000 members on strike at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. A walkout at Mack Trucks would have cost the strike fund another $1.8 million in weekly benefits.

The union represents workers at five Mack Trucks facilities in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Florida. It last struck Mack Trucks in October of 2019, just after a six-week strike at GM.

For the first time in its history, the union is simultaneously striking against General Motors, Ford and Stellantis. The walkouts began on September 15 and have since expanded to include more than 25,000 union members across the three companies.

Mack Trucks is one of the major US makers of heavy duty and medium duty trucks, with deliveries of 27,000 in 2022, and 16,000 in for the first half of 2023. It is owned by Sweden’s Volvo Group, separate from the Volvo car brand, which is owned by China’s Geely.

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