Volvo Trucks Threatens Move

Volvo Trucks of North America won’t expand its plant here and may move if the United Auto Workers doesn’t sign a new contract by the end of the month, Volvo officials said Monday.

“The company will pursue other options to increase capacity,” spokesman Phil Romba said. It would consider other U.S. locations and Mexico, he said.

Romba declined to say whether the entire plant would move or just the expansion project.

Hourly union workers rejected a contract Sunday that called for a 30 percent pay cut and a different health insurance plan for new workers. The current contract expires in March 2000.

Rejection of the contract came four days after Gov. Jim Gilmore announced that plant officials were planning a $148 million expansion that would create another 1,277 jobs. He said the state would provide Volvo with a $ 50 million incentive package to complete the expansion.

John Sayers, president of UAW Local 2069, said Volvo’s deadline announcement wasn’t totally unexpected.

“We knew it was a possibility,” he said. “Now that it’s come out, we’ll have to deal with it.”