UAW members at Daimler Trucks North America’s (DTNA) facilities located in Cleveland, Mt. Holly and Gastonia, NC, ratified a new four-year collective bargaining agreement today, according to a joint news release.

DTNA and UAW said they had “worked together to achieve a contract that rewards workers for several years of consistently increasing market share and quality production, while increasing the competitiveness of DTNA’s truck manufacturing plants based in North Carolina. “

The contract includes a $7,000 ratification bonus and 3% wage increases in the first and third years of the agreement along with 3% lump-sum bonuses in the second and fourth years.

Other economic gains noted by the two parties include an increased night-shift premium and an attendance bonus program.

The release also stated that “faced with the increasing cost of providing health care benefits to retired workers, the UAW and DTNA worked together to establish a Voluntary Employee Benefit Association (VEBA) that will secure retiree benefits for the long term. The contract, including the VEBA agreement for future retirees, becomes effective, upon Daimler Supervisory Board approval.  Upon court approval, current retirees will also be included in the VEBA and DTNA will provide additional funding.”

Martin Daum, DTNA president & CEO, remarked that the new four-year deal “serves the mutual benefit of our company, valued workers and retirees.

“The ongoing close collaboration with the UAW has resulted in a contract that will help assure Daimler Trucks North America’s continued manufacturing excellence and market leadership,” he added.

“The UAW is thankful to have this collaborative relationship with Daimler Trucks North America,” said UAW Region 8 director Gary Casteel, who has responsibility for the DTNA facilities in the South. “Daimler Trucks North America is an example of a company that respects workers’ rights and has reaped the rewards of working together with its unions and employees.

“Instead of walking away from its responsibility to its retirees, Daimler Trucks North America stayed at the table with the UAW until we found a solution to a problem that is plaguing our nation, and retirees from Daimler Trucks North America will have a brighter future as a result,” Casteel added.