Mack Trucks and its employees' labor union have been in discussions for seven weeks on a new contract, but they could not come to an agreement which has lead to a strike.
But this hold-out effects employees beyond those working in Lower Macungie Township. News 13s Dominic Barone joins us in studio to tell us more.
This strike is 3,500 employees deep from three different facilities across the country. The strike officially began on Saturday, and they're picketing in nine different locations around the Mack Trucks plant with shirts saying "We Are One." Union reps tell us they're proud to have never needed to strike since 1984, and there are no winners when a strike is needed.
"What our membership brothers and sisters needed in the contract. Be it healthcare issues. One of the biggest things being the job security to keep our facility in Macungie, Pennsylvania." said Walt Smith, president of United Auto Workers Local 677.
Smith is working to make sure the men and women he represents get what they're asking for from better pensions and wages to health care and safety.
In a statement from mack trucks, their president says, "We are surprised and disappointed that the UAW decided to strike, rather than to allow our employees to keep building trucks and engines while the parties continued to negotiate."
Smith said the workers are ready to hold out.
He said, "People are going through their strike duty then coming here to support each other. The support is solid."
Although Mack Trucks is central to the Lehigh Valley, many people from Carbon County come down here to make a living. One man representing the shop workers in the bargaining agreements is from Palmerton.
"We want to build the best truck there is. This is our career. We're proud to be a mack truck worker. We're proud to be part of this union. And we want to keep it that way" said Kevin Fronheiser from Palmerton.
Fronheiser is at the bargaining table fighting for the shop workers and he said plenty of people drive from Carbon County. With multiple Carbon County employers either going out or laying people off, places like Mack Trucks are vital for strong jobs in the region.
"We do travel, but it's worth it." Fronheiser said, "And we hope things can get resolved quickly and we can get back to building the trucks."
Workers on strike have been notified their benefits from Mack Trucks have been cut off, but the union is covering them temporarily. Negotiations pick back up on October 21st.