June 14, 2011: Yesterday the officers of carhaul local unions unanimously recommended approval of the tentative agreement for the national contact. It will go into the mail to the members for a vote around July 7.
The tentative agreement is largely a continuation of the current contract. You can read the terms here:
The monetary settlement is slightly over 1% a year: 30c-30c-35c-40c over the 51 months of the contract, which would expire August 31, 2015 (.75c-.75c-.875c-1c per running mile; double that per loaded mile). The cost of living clause has a cap of 10c maximum per year. Because it does not come into effect at all unless inflation exceeds 3%, it usually pays zero.
There is no specific monetary number for benefit plans; the agreement states the employer will pay what is needed to “maintain all benefits then in effect.”
An important change deals with union carriers buying nonunion operations; for example, if Jack Cooper successfully acquires United Road. That clause reads: “Employer or Controlled Affiliate may acquire and operate an entity not currently covered by the NMATA that performs Carhaul Work subject to terms and conditions that are acceptable to TNATINC [the national union committee].
This opens the door to bringing new workers into the Teamsters Union and extending our union market share. Members and locals will need to be vigilant in making sure the union protects union standards in the process. Note that the language gives the power to the national committee to accept the terms.
The owner-operator language in the supplements is substantially re-written. If Jack Cooper acquires United Road and/or other nonunion carriers, there may be an influx of carhaul owner-operators. Also, the carriers may utilize more owner-operators to cover new business, rather than borrow to pay for equipment.
There are other changes to the agreement, including a tiered-accumulation of sick days (must work 121 days in a year to accumulate five sick days the following contract year).
The tentative agreement is substantially a continuation of the current contract. The wage increases will very likely fall behind the rate of inflation, but there are not concessions which would undermine our contract or union strength.
We encourage carhaulers to read the national package and their supplemental agreement, get informed, and attend their union meetings to discuss the tentative agreement.