The following statement was issued Thursday by the Mack Workers Rank-and-File Committee in response to the UAW’s release of “highlights” of its tentative agreement with Mack Trucks.
To discuss joining the Mack Workers Rank-and-File Committee, text MACK to (877) 861-4428, or fill out the form below.
Brothers and sisters,
The so-called “highlights” of the UAW’s agreement with Mack released Wednesday are enough to show us that this contract is a sellout that belongs in the garbage. The Mack Workers Rank-and-File Committee urges the largest possible “No” vote this Sunday.
If we stand together and reject this pro-company contract, we will receive enormous support and solidarity from the 146,000 autoworkers at Ford, General Motors and Stellantis who are also fighting corporate attacks and the sabotage policies of the UAW bureaucracy. It will send a powerful signal that workers will not accept further concessions under any circumstances and that we are willing to fight for our interests.
At the same time, we demand that the UAW release the full contract and all “memoranda of understanding” prior to Sunday’s vote.
If those are the UAW’s “highlights,” then we must know the “lowlights.” Workers have a right to know every detail of every concession the UAW has agreed, down to the letter. Union officials have no legitimate reason to conceal that information from us. John Deere workers demanded it in 2021, forcing the UAW to release the full contract language—which showed it was a total sellout, leading Deere workers to reject it by 90 percent.
What concessions do we already know are in the Mack agreement based on the highlights? The contract:
Is a five-year deal, rather than four, which would weaken us and divide us from workers at Volvo Trucks/Local 2069 and John Deere, whose contracts expire in 2027.
Includes a cut to real wages, with total raises of 19 percent over five years: 10 percent front-loaded the first year, and 9 percent over the following years. Inflation has risen 22 percent over the past three years alone, and our last contract included only a 6 percent raise, meaning we have already suffered a significant cut to the value of our wages.
Leaves the tier system in place, only reducing the “progression” scheme by one year.
Does not include COLA, one of our most important demands, given the ongoing cost-of-living crisis and the continuing rise in gas, food and housing costs.
Adds 30 more minutes to every workday at Macungie at straight time to increase the output of trucks by 1,600 a year. By agreeing to be “creative in our joint partnership approach” to productivity, the UAW is opening the door to limitless forced overtime and speed-up.
And the UAW-Mack bargaining “council” has the gall to call this a “record contract”! Anyone who could make such a claim demonstrates that they have nothing but contempt for the basic needs and interests of the rank and file.
The way the UAW is trying to ram through this deal is completely illegitimate.
First, we have been kept in the dark for months on the details of the closed-door discussions between UAW “negotiators” and management.
Second, the bureaucracy ignored our 98 percent strike vote when they announced a tentative agreement 10 minutes before the contract deadline Sunday night, providing us no information on what was in it. Workers voted by 98 percent to strike; none of us voted to authorize an extension of the contract, a decision that was made behind our backs.
Now, they are trying to ram through their deal with management this weekend, giving us only “highlights” of the contract.
It should be clear by now why the UAW bureaucracy is continually keeping Mack workers in the dark: They knew that if they provided us all the information about the sellout they were planning, then workers would revolt.
Based on its previous actions, we cannot trust the UAW bureaucracy to conduct a fair and legitimate vote. In 2021, many workers at our sister Volvo plant in Virginia suspected that, after they voted down the UAW’s contract three times, that the apparatus rigged the final vote, which the union claimed passed by just 17 ballots.
We say to the UAW leadership: We will not consider as legitimate any ratification declaration if the vote process and counting is not overseen by the rank and file. We encourage our brothers and sisters to organize delegations of workers from the shop floor to monitor the vote and the count on Sunday.
The UAW’s anti-democratic, pro-corporate methods are by no means limited to Mack.
UAW President Shawn Fain and the national union leadership are currently forcing isolated, fraudulent “stand-up strikes” onto workers at Ford, General Motors and Stellantis. Fain and the UAW have only called out four and a half Big Three assembly plants on strike, while ordering the vast majority of Big Three UAW members (83 percent) to work without a contract and continue producing profits for the companies.
Brothers and sisters at Mack, now is the time to take a stand and fight! We are all suffering from the impact of high inflation and wages which have not kept up with the cost of living. Meanwhile, Mack’s parent company, Volvo, saw its gross profits increase nearly 50 percent in the first half of this year, rising to $6.7 billion. Mack and Volvo give their executives millions in compensation, and their investors billions in dividends.
The Mack Workers Rank-and-File Committee puts forward the following as non-negotiable demands and will not accept any contract which does include:
50 percent wage increase
Abolition of tiers
Cost-of-Living Adjustments (COLA)
Fully funded pensions for all
No increase in healthcare costs
Democratic worker control of line speeds, health and safety, and hiring and firing
There is plenty of money to provide Mack and Volvo workers all these things and a decent standard of living, but for our needs to be met, we will have to fight for them.
A rejection of the contract must be followed by the immediate scheduling of a strike for when the contract extension expires at midnight on Monday. No more extensions, and no more “last-minute” deals worked out behind our backs!
There is a powerful strike movement developing, which the union bureaucracies are trying to hold back. Over 75,000 healthcare workers are currently striking at Kaiser Permanente. At the Big Three, there are growing calls for all-out strike action across the auto industry. A massive “no” vote on the UAW’s sellout and a strike at Mack would give a powerful impetus to the further development of this movement of the working class.
But if there’s going to be a real struggle, it will have to be organized from below. We appeal to all our brothers and sisters at Mack: Join the Mack Workers Rank-and-File Committee! Hold discussions on the line, during breaks, and after work. Begin forming groups of workers who want to fight and establish rank-and-file committees on each shift, in each department, and in each plant. To discuss joining our committee, text MACK to (877) 861-4428, or fill out the form below.
- “Highlights” of UAW-Mack deal reveal sellout contract with below-inflation wage increases
- The UAW bureaucracy’s fraudulent “stand-up” strike will end in a sellout of autoworkers
- Release the full UAW-Mack contract! Workers have a right to know what’s in the agreement!
- UAW announces tentative agreement at Mack Trucks minutes before strike deadline, provoking outcry by workers