For immediate release: Monday, June 23, 2003
Peterbilt workers accept new contract; lockout to end by July 1

Members of UAW Local 1832 voted on Sunday June 22 to accept a new five-year contract at Peterbilt, a manufacturer of heavy trucks in Madison, Tennessee.

More than 750 UAW members had been locked out of their jobs since September 2, 2002, by PACCAR, Peterbilt’s Bellevue, Wash.-based parent company. Following the ratification of the contract by a 417 to 96 vote, PACCAR agreed to open the doors of its Madison, Tenn. plant no later than July 1.

“We’re very happy to be going back to work, but we’re not happy with this company or the way they treated our members,” said Mike Pardue, president of UAW Local 1832. “There was no reason whatsoever for a ten-month lockout.”

Only 250 of more than 750 members of UAW Local 1832 will be able to return to work in July. The remaining 500 were given layoff notices one week before the lockout began last September, as a result of a decline in truck sales.

PACCAR agreed to end the lockout after a nationwide UAW campaign for justice at Peterbilt. The campaign included:

*protests at Peterbilt headquarters in Bellevue and during the company’s annual meeting in April;
*a leafleting and public education campaign targeted at Bank of America, PACCAR’s largest institutional shareholder;
*rallies and leafleting at numerous truck industry trade shows;
*an open letter from more than 100 religious leaders calling for an end to the lockout;
*filing of unfair labor practice charges against PACCAR at the National Labor Relations Board;
*and a federal WARN act lawsuit, charging that the company illegally laid off 500 UAW members just before the lockout in order to avoid a legal requirement to provide them with 60 days notice, or 60 days of pay before a layoff.

As part of the contract settlement, the UAW has agreed to drop its litigation against PACCAR.

“Our entire union was united to win justice for Peterbilt workers,” said UAW President Ron Gettelfinger, who attended a rally in support of locked-out workers in Tennessee in February, along with 17 other members of the UAW International Executive Board.

“It’s clear that our pressure campaign helped bring the company back to the table,” said UAW Vice President Nate Gooden, who directs the union’s Heavy Truck Department. “It’s not clear why PACCAR executives waited so long to reach a settlement.”

“This has been a very difficult time for these workers, and the support and solidarity they received was so important,” said Gary Casteel, director of UAW Region 8, which includes Tennessee and 10 other southeastern states. “The generosity of our brothers and sisters in the UAW, in the rest of the labor movement, and from religious and community organizations made a huge difference. We want to thank everyone who made donations to members of Local 1832 and their families, and all of those who spoke out for justice during this campaign.”

The five-year pact at Peterbilt includes wage increases totaling $3.05 per hour over the life of the agreement, and a $1,000 dollar equity adjustment. The company will continue to consult with the union prior to outsourcing work to outside vendors, and the agreement states “it is not the Company’s intent to outsource for the purpose of reducing the size of the bargaining unit.”

The new agreement also increases health insurance deductibles and requires workers to pay additional health insurance premiums. The increase in health insurance premiums will be limited to no more than 10% per year.







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