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Mack unions OK pact

October 11, 2004|by BRIAN SHAPPELL

shappell@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN - Two local unions representing employees of Mack Trucks Inc. ratified a three-year contract with the Allentown, Pa.-based company, a Mack spokesman said late Sunday.

Mack spokesman Bob Martin said United Auto Workers Local 171 and United Auto Workers Local 1247 approved contracts during votes held Sunday.

"It's a very positive development for both Mack Trucks and United Auto Workers," Martin said. "It really puts Mack and its work force in a position to be very competitive in a very challenging truck market."

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Martin declined to comment on the terms of the contract.

Dave Perkins, president of Local 171, said about 73 percent of the union employees who voted Sunday at North Hagerstown High School voted in favor of the contract. Perkins said the official tally of votes would not be certified until today.

Perkins said the union's key concerns were limiting increases of health-care costs and the outsourcing of jobs to other areas.

"I think it (the agreement) gives us a chance to move ahead and try to grow jobs, especially at the Hagerstown facility," Perkins said.

Perkins said a strike was averted when a tentative agreement was struck on the morning of Oct. 2. The previous three-year contract was set to expire the night before, though negotiations continued.

Mark A. Bair, president of UAW Local 1247, could not be reached for comment on a vote that began Sunday morning at the union's hall.

One of Washington County's largest employers, Mack's powertrain facility off Pennsylvania Avenue north of Hagerstown had 1,415 employees as of July 15, a company spokesman said at the time. Production workers at Mack earn approximately $23 an hour.

UAW Local 171 represents approximately 1,000 machinists and assembly workers at the local plant, Donnie Myers, vice president of UAW Local 171, has said. UAW Local 1247 represents about 100 secretaries and engineers who work at the local plant, he said.

Besides the two local unions, the agreement also includes UAW Local 2301 in Baltimore; Local 472 in Atlanta; and Local 677, representing workers in Allentown, Macungie, Pa., and Middletown, Pa., according to a prepared statement from Mack.

In total, the contract covers approximately 2,500 UAW workers for Mack, which is owned by The Volvo Group, according to the statement.

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