Ongoing contract negotiations with Daimler Truck could have a local impact. On Saturday, United Auto Workers union chapters will hold votes on an offer from the company, which operates two Freightliner plants here and one in Upstate South Carolina.
Local union leaders did not want to comment for a story, citing the sensitive nature of ongoing negotiations.
Brian Rothenberg, a spokesman for the national UAW, said he could not get into details, but that negotiations have been ongoing for a few months across the country.
Locally, there is a Daimler Truck parts facility in Gastonia and a Freightliner truck manufacturing facility in Mount Holly. There is also a Freightliner chassis facility in Gaffney, South Carolina. The facilities employ thousands of people.
Rothenberg says there are 1,102 active UAW members in Gaston County. Local UAW halls are located in Mount Holly and Gastonia.
Ratification votes are scheduled to be held at various times on Saturday. So far, there has been no indication of any sort of strike — such actions would depend on the outcomes of votes taken over the weekend.
Typically, negotiations like this tend to focus on salary, benefits and workplace safety conditions.
“Some progress was made in the Daimler Truck negotiations, but fell way short of reaching a tentative agreement to present to our members,” UAW Vice President Terry Dittes said in a statement posted to the union’s website late last month. “The parties agreed to extend the Collective Bargaining Agreement on a day by day basis and schedule additional Bargaining Sessions.”
In 2016, Daimler Trucks North America laid off nearly 300 employees in Gastonia, but several of them were reportedly hired back last year.
The Mount Holly manufacturing plant makes medium-duty trucks. Gastonia’s plant handles stamping, metal fabrication and assembly of cab and chassis parts used in products for Daimler Trucks North America.