91% of Union Workers at Virginia Volvo Plant Vote No on Salary Proposal, Strike Resumes

A 3,000-worker strike at a Volvo truck plant in Virginia resumed Monday after 91% of union employees voted no on salary language in a new contract proposal, the United Auto Workers (UAW) announced. Additionally, 90% voted no on common language and hourly language in the tentative deal, according to results posted by Local 2069, the Associated Press reported.

The bargaining committee for the striking workers has asked for a meeting with management to review unsolved grievances, including healthcare, wages, health and safety issues and working conditions, the UAW said.

Franky Marchand, general manager of the plant, said Monday that since the contract proposal entailed pay increases and competitive benefits, the union's rejection of the was "difficult to understand."

"We remain committed to the collective bargaining process, and we are confident that we will ultimately arrive at a mutually beneficial agreement," his statement said.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Volvo Truck Plant
A Volvo truck plant in Virginia has seen 3,000 workers resume a strike after the union's rejection of a new contract proposal. Above, an Indian employee of the Swedish truck and bus maker Volvo works on the assembly line at the Volvo Factory in Hoskote, about 40 kilometers south of Bangalore, on April 10, 2006. Dibyangshu Sarkar/AFP via Getty Images

At 1.6 million square feet, the plant is the largest manufacturer for Volvo tractor-trailer trucks in the world and one of the largest private-sector employers in the region.

The previous contract, reached in 2016, was to have expired in mid-March and negotiations began in February. Unionized workers went on strike from April 17 to 30 and returned to work as negotiations resumed. UAW members rejected a proposed contract in May. On May 22, the company announced another tentative agreement, which was rejected Sunday.

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.

Volvo Headquarters Brazil
The United Auto Workers announced Monday that union workers at Volvo's largest tractor-trailer truck manufacturer rejected a tentative 6-year contract proposal. Above, the Volvo headquarters building in Curitiba, Brazil. Paulo Fridman/Getty Images