Employees at Volvo Trucks North America (VTNA) represented by the United Auto Workers (UAW) have ratified a new three-year agreement that covers the approximately 2,600 members of UAW Local #2069 that work at Volvo’s New River Valley, VA plant.

The contract ends a strike that began on February 1, 2008. The contract takes effect today and is set to expire on March 16, 2011.

According to VTNA, employees will not return to work until next Monday, March 24th, because the plant needs to ramp up equipment to the average daily production rate of 146 vehicles per day.

“This agreement will help us improve the competitiveness of our NRV plant, while continuing to provide our employees with a very competitive package of wages and benefits,” said Per Carlsson, president & CEO of VTNA. “Our focus now is on getting trucks to our customers as soon as possible, and strengthening our relationship with our NRV employees.”

According to UAW Local #2069, over 91% of the employees voted to ratify the contract, with approximately 90% of hourly workers and 99% of salaried workers voting yes.

"The solidarity and discipline of members of UAW Local #2069 is what made this agreement possible," said UAW vp General Holiefield, director of the group’s heavy truck department.