Dear Mack Truck Co-workers,
We, the Mack Truck-Volvo workers of Macungie, Pennsylvania, are hereby forming the Mack Trucks Workers Rank-and-File Committee (MTWRFC) to defend and fight for the interests of workers at Macungie and other Volvo sites. This committee is being formed independent of United Auto Workers Local 677.
The UAW we have now is not the UAW everyone fondly remembers from the days of old. Mack Trucks used to be a desirable place to work. All of the factors that made it desirable were conceded contract after contract by the UAW through concessions and erosions of workers’ rights. This was done quietly without a fight.
Previously, Mack Truck had pensions and wages tied to cost of living, and health insurance we didn’t have to pay a weekly fee for. Mack trucks had no tier system or waiting for top rate and no points for missing days. Until the pandemic we could clock out six minutes early.
All of this was conceded on the UAW’s watch. All of this was allowed to be given away by the UAW while they sat up in an air conditioned office. The only ones who can stop these concessions are the workers themselves.
You may be thinking: “But I’m very pro-union.” We ask you: What union? All we have is each other and we need to recognize that, get together, get educated about the real character of the trade unions, and fight.
The UAW does not only act this way at Mack Truck. Anyone who watched the New River Valley strike, which was ended earlier in July, could plainly see the UAW operates this way elsewhere. There was only one source to watch the NRV fight, the World Socialist Web Site. The UAW absolutely had nothing to say about it save one letter from Ray Curry that did nothing more than merely acknowledge that he knew the strike was happening.
No matter your political leaning, neither Democrats nor Republicans at any news network gave the workers a look, a voice or a backing. Only the WSWS did so. When Volvo increased pressure on workers in Virginia, did the UAW increase pressure on Volvo? NO! Instead, the UAW had them vote again on a tentative agreement they had already rejected by a 60 percent “no” vote only a few days prior.
In this, the UAW helped Volvo achieve Volvo’s goals while starving out and dividing workers. Volvo was allowed to pressure its workers while Ray Curry sat and watched. He could have directed other UAW workers to walk out in protest. He could have raised their strike pay from a measly $275 per week. He could have done any number of things. Instead, he did nothing to reinforce the striking workers’ efforts. The UAW leadership did not direct us not to handle scab cabs.
We are not calling on you to throw out your union card insofar as it is required to maintain your employment and job safety. We are only identifying that the workers are the strength to make the changes needed here. Things are only going to get worse if we don’t start fighting now. Cost of living keeps going up.
In contrast to Volvo’s slogans, we are not “Born Ready.” We are not Volvo. We are the working class. We build the trucks, we supply the parts for the trucks, we keep the line running, we maintain the building and we outnumber the black polo shirts making money off our backs.
We have the power to build and we have the power to shut it down! It is time for the company to be fair with the people it makes all of its money off of. The UAW isn’t going to make it happen for us. We call on all workers to remember the NRV!
To bring about these changes, we are forming a Rank-and-File Committee at the Mack plant comprised of both Lehigh Valley Operations and Lehigh Valley Logistics Center workers and any other workers willing to fight.
We call on workers to:
- Educate ourselves in understanding the historical actions taken by workers both union and non-union to see how gains can be made. This includes learning about the transformation of the UAW into a corporatist union. The American working class has a long, courageous history of labor conflict against the corporations and at times against the unions themselves. We intend to revitalize this tradition.
- Develop lines of communication with other Rank and File Committees at other Volvo and UAW plants globally. Workers at Mack-Truck and Volvo must fight for unification under a rank-and-file committee and one contract. Mack-Volvo workers at Hagerstown, Maryland need leadership in the form of a rank-and-file committee. The workers will see every instance of betrayal by the UAW and we will garner support from workers across the world. New River Valley workers received massive amounts of support poured in from workers as far away as Australia, Belgium, Germany, the United Kingdom, and us here in the United States.
- A secure retirement for workers after laboring for decades and producing profits for one of the richest companies in the world. We want a choice of a pension or a 401(k) that gets 15 percent of our pay matched by the company whether we contribute or not.
- Abolition of the tier system and points attendance system policy at Macungie. We stand for equal pay for equal work.
- Cost of living clause in the next contract along with fully funded healthcare for all workers and retirees.
- A MWRFC worker on the bargaining committee with open-mic meetings held as often as the rank-and-file demand it. No closed doors bargaining!
- Additional vacation and personal days to spend time with our families!
Workers in agreement with these demands and eager to fight back against the Mack-Volvo and the UAW’s joint-attacks on us, we urge you to join us and get involved!
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