Volvo Trucks Aims to Reopen Factory After Third Contract Rejection

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Workers installed parts on a truck at the Volvo plant in Dublin, Va., in 2011.



Photo:

Steve Helber/Associated Press

Volvo Trucks North America says it plans to resume production at its truck manufacturing plant in Dublin, Va., despite a third vote by unionized workers rejecting a tentative contract settlement aimed at ending a monthlong walkout at the factory.

The division of Swedish vehicle maker

Volvo

AB said it was taking the action after hitting an impasse with negotiators for the United Auto Workers over new attempts to reach a contract settlement that the plant’s roughly 2,900 UAW-represented workers would accept.

“We need to safeguard our future, and start building trucks for the many customers and dealers whose businesses and livelihoods depend on our products,”

Franky Marchand,

vice president and general manager of the plant, said in a statement Sunday.

The company said it would implement the terms of the contract that management and the UAW negotiators agreed to on July 1, the third agreement that negotiators have reached that rank-and-file workers have rejected in recent months.

The company said any employee who returned to work on July 12 or after would receive the wage increases and benefits outlined in the July 1 agreement, except for ratification bonuses.

A UAW spokesman said the strike is continuing, and that the union is evaluating Volvo’s position and the union’s legal options. “A new vote is scheduled Wednesday for the bargaining unit members on the company’s last, best and final offer,” he said.

Volvo said the strike, the second the workers have staged this year over the contract terms, is hurting its customers and has delayed a project to expand and upgrade the facility. The factory produces all Class 8 heavy-duty Volvo trucks sold in North America. A spokesman declined to comment on the financial impact of the strike.

The standoff comes as Volvo and other equipment makers are also coping with shortages of semiconductors and other components amid broader upheaval in global supply chains since the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr. Marchand said the company’s last offer “delivered significant wage gains and first-class benefits for our employees, and 40% of UAW voters supported it.”

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Write to Jennifer Smith at jennifer.smith@wsj.com

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Appeared in the July 13, 2021, print edition as ‘Volvo to Resume U.S. Truck Production Amid Strike.’

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