April 29, 2010: The IBT is mailing ballots to all ABF Teamsters—active and on layoff—on Friday, April 30, and they will be counted on Monday, May 24.
Contact your local if you don’t receive a ballot by Friday, May 7 and be sure to get a replacement ballot. TDU has won the right to have independent Teamster members as observers at ballot counts. For further information on being an observer, contact TDU.
Opposition to ABF Wage Cut Brewing
Anger is brewing among ABF Teamsters. TDU has received calls and emails from around the country. Many have remarked on how the IBT has exaggerated Teamster support for accepting givebacks.
“Thank God for cell phones,” reported Roy Luckett out of the Jackson, Mississippi terminal. “As I run the Southwest, I’m talking to men out of El Paso, Albuquerque and other points west. They’re all saying this wage cut is going down.”
Some members object to the proposed cuts when management is still eligible to receive "pre-existing incentive and performance based pay plans." These bonuses "are expressly allowed to continue" under the proposed Memorandum of Understanding. "If they want to change our contract, they can damn well change the top guys' contracts first,” said an ABF Teamster out of the Northwest.
Members are also opposed to giving management credit for previous reductions in their compensation. A Cleveland Teamster commented, "By the time the bosses get credit for theprevious reduction, they probably won't have to give up anything. If they want me to try to live on 15% less pay, they can take a 15% salary cut, too."
ABF Teamsters also think there is a lot of management fat to be cut and savings to be had through better management. "We have no idea what our manager does all day," reported the driver out of the Northwest. "We never see him, and neither do our customers."
As Tyson Johnson has stated on IBT conference calls, “Members will make the decision.” Some ABF Teamsters support the concession proposal, but, judging from the ABF Teamsters we’ve spoken with, there is also a strong No sentiment building.
“The IBT is hanging us out there by making the pitch for ABF,” said Curtis Zeolla, an ABF road driver. “But most of what I hear from Chicago is we’re voting No. We don’t need to jump on the first offer. There’s got to be a better alternative.”
What do you think? Click here to send your comments or questions to Teamsters for a Democratic Union.