Daimler Trucks agrees to 3-year bargaining agreements

Daimler Trucks North America LLC (DTNA) agreed to new three-year collective bargaining agreements covering workers at its Portland Truck Manufacturing Plant (PTMP).

The contracts, which were effective July 2, cover union employees represented by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 305; the Service Employees International Union Local 49; the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local 1005; and the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades Local 1094.

Tentative collective bargaining agreements were reached on July 1, following extended negotiation between company management and union leadership. The tentative agreements were ratified by Local Bargaining Unit membership in separate meetings on July 2. Previous contracts were originally set to expire June 30 but were extended pending the formal ratification of the new agreements by the union membership.

The new contracts include numerous negotiated provisions that will enhance scheduling flexibility, improve efficiency and reduce operating costs. Employment levels will remain unchanged for the present. The plant will continue to operate with one shift.

In October 2008, DTNA announced the planned mid-2010 closure of the PTMP, plans that were shelved in September 2009 in favor of “second chance” contract discussions.

“These new contracts solidify our U.S. production footprint and position us to continue manufacturing operations in Portland well into the future,” Martin Daum, president and chief executive officer of Daimler Trucks North America, said in a written statement. “The negotiation process was challenging and required sacrifice and compromise from all parties involved. We would like to express our sincere thanks and appreciation to the leadership of the Portland unions and to our employees for their commitment to a productive dialogue and a positive resolution.”

The ratification of new collective bargaining agreements for the PTMP follows successful new contract negotiations at the company’s North Carolina and Michigan plants earlier this year.

The Portland Truck Manufacturing Plant is located in Portland, Oregon and manufactures Freightliner-branded military vehicles as well as the company’s Western Star on-highway and severe-duty trucks. The Portland Truck Manufacturing Plant employs approximately 680, including nearly 640 union members.