2/17/08

Absenteeism plagues UAW

Given the impact Volvo's plant has on the NRV region, I think it's important for the community to know certain facts.

First, our employees would still be working if the UAW had not left the table. The negotiations were progressing, and we were surprised the UAW decided to walk away and strike. Second, we are committed to providing our employees with a healthy, safe work environment. We stand ready to work with the UAW to resolve any safety concerns.

Volvo has made major investments at NRV, and we want it to be a globally competitive facility. We provide our employees with competitive wages, and benefits better than those available to most people in the United States. But our business is global, and we must work with our employees to ensure that we can compete.

We need the UAW's help to control our health care costs, improve manpower stability and flexibility, and reduce excessive absenteeism -- and I'm confident that we can resolve these issues in a way that is fair to our employees and to the company.

All of us at Volvo hope that this unnecessary strike is short, and that the UAW will return to the table soon.

- PER CARLSSON, President & CEO, Volvo Trucks North America, GREENSBORO, NC

(roanoke.com)

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