March 14, 2013: ABF Teamsters across much of the country have already given a $1.40 concession, well in advance of the contract. So when management comes to you asking for a wage giveback, you can tell them "I already gave up $1.40 per hour. And I didn't even get a vote on it!"
It was a secret deal, signed by Gordon Sweeton for the IBT and Trucking Management Inc (TMI) rep Robert Jones. (Doesn't ABF claim that TMI does not represent them?)
Members were never informed. Members were never given a vote, in direct violation of the Teamster Constitution, Article 12, Section 2(b), which requires a secret ballot vote for any change in the contract terms.
How Did it Happen?
On August 1, 2011, ABF was required to increase its benefit contributions by $1 per hour, with the $1 to be allocated between the Central States Pension Fund and the Central States Health and Welfare Fund, for Teamsters in the South, the Carolinas, and most of the Central Region. The clear language is contained in each supplement.
Gordon Sweeton secretly signed most of the $1 away.
Then the same thing happened on August 1, 2012. Sweeton again signed away the members' money, on behalf of the Hoffa administration. So the pension payments of $342 per week have been frozen for nearly three years.
Net result: The H&W fund got a total of 60¢ per hour increase for 2011 and 2012 and the pension fund (which is in critical need of funding) got zero.
ABF Teamsters under the Central States Fund took a $1.40 concession. Without a vote. This would be a 6% wage cut, if it had come out of our wages.
That $1.40 would provide $2,800 per year (at 2,000 hours per year) additional money into the pension fund for each employee, and boost every employee's pension by $28 (by the 1 percent accrual rule) per year of service. So ABF Teamsters have lost hundreds of dollars per month, thousands per year, off their future pension as a result of the secret deal.
A similar thing happened to ABF Teamsters in the Western Conference regarding the August 1, 2012 pension payment given back to an "escrow account."
When the company – or Hoffa and Sweeton – tells you to sacrifice, be sure to remind them that you already did!