Freightliner, UAW avert strike in Mt. Holly

MOUNT HOLLY, N.C. (Dec. 18, 2000) — Union workers at Freightliner LLC’s Mount Holly truck plant ratified a new three-year labor agreement yesterday, after the company said it would close the factory and move production temporarily to Mexico unless a new deal was reached.

The new contract provides for three annual wage increases and affects about 2350 workers. The top wage for most assembly workers will be increased to $21 per hour starting today, equivalent to the top rate in all of the company’s other U.S. truck manufacturing plants.

The plant produces about 28,000 medium-sized Business Class and Severe-Duty trucks each year.

The United Auto Workers threatened to strike unless demands were met for wage increases, a profit-sharing plan, and health benefits for laid-off workers.

Union officials alleged that although Freightliner leads the trucking industry in market share, sales, and profits, the company is last in the industry in pensions for production workers. Unlike its peer companies, the company has no profit-sharing formula or health benefits for laid off workers.

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