Oct. 14 (UPI) -- Thousands of Mack Truck workers in three states went on strike over the weekend for higher pay, job security and better benefits.
Some 3,600 United Automobile Workers union members walked out Sunday at plants in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Florida.
"The last four years, we have helped Mack Truck make significant profit through our work," said Doug Irvine, president of Baltimore's Local 2301 and president of the Mack Truck Council. "All we are asking is that the company treat us with the dignity and respect we deserve in making them successful."
In a statement, the union said the strike is in demand for wage increases, job security, healthcare and prescription drug coverage, overtime and other issues.
"Based on our strong past relationship with the Mack Truck group, we are confident that further discussion of these, and other open issues, will result in progress toward the goal of a contract that works for both the company and its UAW members," said Ray Curry, UAW secretary-treasurer and director of the Heavy Truck Department. "But the fact remains that our members are united in standing together to strike until Mack agrees to resolve these significant issues."
Mack Trucks President Mark Weissburg said in a statement he was "surprised and disappointed" by the strike as progress was being made in negotiations.
He said there are no plans to close any U.S. manufacturing and the company was investing $400 million into its plants and logistics networks over the next decade.
"We are committed to the collective bargaining process, and remain confident that we will be able to arrive at an agreement that provides a competitive wage and benefit package for our employees and families, and helps to ensure the company's competitiveness," he said.
The Mack Truck strike occurred as nearly 50,000 UAW members were in their third week of a labor walkout with General Motors.