Mack Trucks, a leading American producer of commercial trucks and subsidiary of Volvo Group, is now feeling the weight of a widespread strike by the United Automobile Workers (UAW). As Business Insider reports, over 40,000 General Motors workers have been striking for more than a month, demanding better conditions, expanded benefits and higher wages. This week has seen the strike extend to Mack facilities in the states of Pennsylvania, Maryland and Florida—around 3,500 workers have taken part.
These developments could have serious repercussions for the American commercial truck market.
“If the strike continues, it would in the near future affect Volvo truck production, because the Hagerstown, MD, powertrain plant supplies engines and transmissions to NRV,” Volvo Group senior vice president John Mies told Business Insider.
The strike comes after a massive decline in North American truck orders in 2019, after a banner year in 2018. Per Business Insider, the four biggest truck producers in North America sold 69% fewer trucks in September 2019, compared to the same month last year. This is consistent with trends from the summer months.
“The industry is on the cusp of cutting production,” said senior analyst Kenny Vieth. “It’s bad luck for the guys who are striking.”
Doug Irvine, president of UAW Local 2301 and president of the Mack Truck Council, outlined the organization’s motives:
“The last four years we have helped Mack Truck make significant profit through our work. All we are asking is that the company treat us with the dignity and respect we deserve in making them successful.”
How Mack chooses to address these developments remains to be seen—but the UAW appears to be in this for the long haul.