January 30, 2008: As expected, ABF management has signed a "me-too" to be bound by the National Master Freight Agreement (NMFA).
The ABF me-to means we will retain a united freight contract. This outcome was never really in doubt. The International Union said all along that it would hold ABF to the NMFA—just like it did when other companies including Yellow tried to break away.
The International Union cynically tried to take advantage of member’s opposition to ABF’s attempted pension grab by telling ABF Teamsters to send a message to the company by voting for concessions in the proposed National Master Freight Agreement.
That concessionary offer is still out for a vote. If it is rejected, then Teamsters at both Yellow-Roadway and ABF can send our negotiators back to the table to win improvements. That would send a real message to management that we are determined to defend our union standards in freight.
Lessons of the ABF Showdown
ABF wanted to break out of our national contract and benefit plans. They failed.
The lesson of the ABF showdown is clear: Just because a corporation wants a separate and substandard deal doesn’t mean we have to give in.
When we stand united, we have the power to stop companies from inking substandard deals or breaking out of our national contracts and benefit plans.
Our union needs to apply this lesson now in bargaining with UPS Freight and DHL.