• 61°

Still no contract at Freightliner truck plant

CLEVELAND — United Auto Workers union members and Daimler Trucks North America are still trying to hash out a new contract at the Freightliner plant in Cleveland.
A June 21 deadline has come and gone. The existing contract has been extended indefinitely, said Steve Barber, shop chairman for UAW Local 3520.
Barber said he could not comment further. Union President Corey Hill could not be reached.
Contract negotiations also continue at Daimler plants in Mount Holly and Gastonia, a Daimler spokesman said.
“The parties have extended the current agreement and continue to negotiate while all plants remain in full operation,” said David Giroux, public relations director for Daimler. “DTNA considers the negotiations process to be a confidential matter between the parties.”
Workers at Daimler’s Portland, Ore. plant recently ended a three-week strike over wages after Daimler and union members compromised on an hourly raise. Wages had been frozen for four years, and United Auto Workers sent a statement of support to strikers in Oregon.
The unions sought a $1.95 increase on an average $23.33-an-hour wage, while Daimler offered a $1.30-an-hour pay raise, according to The Oregonian newspaper. The new contract terms included a $1.55 an hour raise and lasts 40 months, the newspaper reported.
About 725 workers returned to their factory shifts July 22. They had been on strike since July 1. The Oregon plant manufactures about 30 Western Star trucks a day.
Wages aren’t the issue in Cleveland, employees said during a union rally in May.
At the time, Hill said he wanted Daimler to bring back the 340 workers laid off from the Cleveland on April 8. He said the union also wanted the company to run two full shifts and guarantee a higher number of trucks made in Cleveland, which would provide job security for employees.
Several workers at the rally said job security and the truck-build rate were their major concerns, not wages. Top pay at the Cleveland plant is about $24 per hour, which was frozen in 2010, the last time the union and Daimler negotiated a contract.
Employees said they also want a pension and health care coverage when they retire.
Daimler currently guarantees an average of 60 new trucks per day at the Cleveland plant, Hill said in May, but the Freightliner plant in Saltillo, Mexico runs three shifts and makes 165 trucks per day.
Daimler could move some of those orders to Cleveland and put more people to work in the United States, Hill said.
“We are trying to fight for every job we possibly can,” he said.
Daimler has a 43 percent market share in the commercial truck industry, thanks in large part to the highly rated Cleveland plant, Barber said in May.
“To be No. 1 in a lot of areas, they are treating their employees here like No. 101, and that’s not fair,” Barber said. “It’s called social injustice.”
Daimler’s truck division — the maker of Freightliner and Western Star — reported $566 million in profit in the company’s second quarter, the company announced in July. Revenues in the division were up $500 million to $10.4 billion.
Retail sales in the United States rose 24 percent to more than 30,000 units, with orders rising 41 percent to 27,000 units.

Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.

Comments

Comments closed.

News

Political Notebook: Local polls find increasing number of North Carolinians want COVID-19 vaccine

News

Trial begins on challenge to latest NC voter ID law

Local

Burch, Fisher, Marsh honored as 2021 recipients of Elizabeth Duncan Koontz Humanitarian Award

Landis

Landis board talks revenues, budget planning, department updates

College

College baseball: Catawba rolls 7-1 and 24-1

Nation/World

Student fires at officers at Tennessee school, is killed

Nation/World

Police: Minnesota officer meant to draw Taser, not handgun

Crime

Man receives consecutive prison sentences for sex offenses

BREAKING NEWS

RSS Board of Education approves Faith Elementary sale

Coronavirus

Rowan Health Department receives 400 Pfizer, 800 Johnson & Johnson vaccines for week

Crime

Blotter: Accident in Food Lion only weekend shooting to produce injuries

Crime

Salisbury man charged with felony drug crimes

Crime

Second person charged in thefts from house near county line

Crime

Police use tear gas to end robbery stand off, arrest suspect

Local

Ask Us: When will Rowan Public Library’s West Branch open?

Nation/World

Prosecution case nears end in ex-cop’s trial in Floyd death

Nation/World

Officer accused of force in stop of Black Army officer fired

Crime

Blotter: Man charged with hitting man with car, fleeing while intoxicated

Local

‘Meet the need’: Rowan County Health Department looks to add to vaccination options

Local

Seaford is first woman in county hired for town manager position since the ’90s

Local

Colonial Spring Frolic makes a comeback to kick off museum’s year

Local

Concord City Council wants to name bridge for fallen officer, Rowan native

Education

RSS administration will recommend selling Faith Elementary property to charter school

Local

Rowan County Democrats re-elect leaders, pass resolutions