The following statement was released by the Mack Trucks Workers Rank-and-File Committee. Download a printable version here.
Text MACK to (877) 861-4428 for updates and to discuss joining the Mack Workers Rank-and-File Committee today.
Brothers and sisters,
UAW Local 677 is holding a “solidarity rally” in Macungie, Pennsylvania, today, supposedly “in support” of striking Mack Trucks workers.
In reality the UAW was forced to call a strike only after we voted by 73 percent to reject a sellout contract endorsed by union officials at the local and national level, including UAW President Shawn Fain. Since then, nearly 4,000 of us have been on strike in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Florida for more than three weeks. The UAW’s pro-corporate deal would have included only a 19 percent wage increase, no COLA, threatened job security and added 30 minutes to the work day.
What has happened since the strike began?
Mack’s management have dug in their heels, completely refusing workers’ central demands, claiming they’re “unrealistic.” But Mack’s parent company, the Volvo Group, doesn’t think it’s “unrealistic” to hand investors billions of dollars in dividends every year, and to pay their executives multi-million dollar compensation packages.
Meanwhile, the UAW apparatus has continued to keep its members at Mack in the dark on the full content of their discussions with the company. Their “updates” consist of little more than informing us of what Mack has refused, or the inconsequential “concessions” they’ve supposedly granted.
In recent days, Local 677 reps released an absurd letter counterposing wage increases and COLA—as if we can only have one or the other!
At the same time, the UAW International has announced tentative agreements with Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis over the past week, shutting down their limited “stand up strikes” before allowing workers to vote on or even read the contracts. Contrary to all the fanfare from the UAW and the media, these are also sellout agreements. They wouldn’t make up for past wage concessions, they include below-inflation COLA formulas, and they would allow the companies to carry out mass layoffs as they transition to EVs.
The UAW’s shutdown of the Big Three strikes is not only a betrayal of autoworkers; it is a stab in the back for Mack workers as well. Fain and the UAW bureaucracy are attempting to isolate our strike and prevent a rebellion from spreading throughout the auto industry.
Since the strike began, the UAW has said nothing about what its strategy is to overcome the company’s intransigence. That’s because the union bureaucracy doesn’t have a strategy to lead its members to victory. It’s been operating from the beginning with a strategy to lead us to defeat and force through the company’s demands.
The UAW invited “many local, state and federal” politicians to the rally today. But these big business politicians are not our allies; they are the political representatives of the same corporations that we’re fighting.
The bottom line is we’re getting sold out again.
If we don’t stand up in solidarity and fight right now, the UAW reps are going to keep doing the same thing, and will continue to bring back contracts based on what the company wants.
What is the strategy for us to win this fight? What are the next logical steps for workers to take?
- No return to work without a ratified contract!
We insist that workers cannot be made to return to work unless we have studied, voted on, and ratified a contract that meets the demands of the rank and file. If the UAW bureaucracy forces us back with a vote—as they’ve done at the Big Three—it would mean that Mack can make money on our labor before we even have a contract, and that everything we’ve sacrificed in the past three and a half weeks would have been a waste.
The traditional labor principle must be enforced: No contract, no work!
- Build support for a massive contract rejection at the Big Three!
Our brothers and sisters at the Big Three need our support just as much as we need theirs to overcome the UAW bureaucracy’s sellout. We urge Mack workers at Macungie to make connections with Big Three autoworkers. Reach out to these workers on social media. Send delegations to speak to autoworkers at plants in Ohio and Michigan. Appeal to them to reject the UAW’s sellout contracts and prepare to launch an all-out strike across the auto industry.
- Raise strike pay to $750 a week!
Strike pay should be raised to a level that can sustain workers for as long as it takes. This is what the massive strike fund, built up with our dues money, is supposed to be for. It must not be a slush fund for the apparatus.
- No more closed-door “negotiations”! Workers must have daily, detailed reports on everything that’s being discussed with management, and every document that’s exchanged must be made available to the rank and file. The only thing that is going to come out of secret talks with the company is a concessionary contract.
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
No increase in the length of the workday
Democratic worker control of line speeds, health and safety, and hiring and firing
A four-year, not five-year, contract, so that our contract expirations aligns with Volvo Trucks and John Deere
Workers must reject the idea that we’re going to get “only so much,” which is a pro-company argument made by UAW officials. They want us to continue to take concessions, but workers are quickly reaching a point where there’s nothing less to concede.
We have to make a decision: At what point will workers draw a line in the sand and say “no more concessions,” take control of our struggle, and organize to win major advances?
The time to fight is now. Text MACK to (877) 861-4428 for updates and to discuss joining the Mack Workers Rank-and-File Committee today.