August 16, 2007: Teamster master contracts and benefit funds are under attack—at UPS, freight, DHL and Carhaul— and now ABF is moving to break out of the National Master Freight Agreement.
It’s now official: ABF has pulled out of Trucking Management Inc (TMI), the employer association which bargains the National Master Freight Agreement. Freight members need to stand shoulder-to-shoulder to maintain one freight standard and one freight contract.
ABF management has let it be known for some time that they would split. ABF CEO Bob Davidson has already stated he wants to pull out of Teamster pension plans and force ABF employees into a 401(k). We need to let him know this isn’t going to happen: ABF always has been part of the NMFA and always will be.
In the past, other carriers have split off. Yellow Freight, for example, bargained separately. The union held them—and all split-off carriers—to the NMFA. This unity has always been Teamster policy, through many General Presidents. ABF needs to hear that this policy still stands.
Hoffa Signals Weaknesses
DHL management also informed the union that they would try to break from the NMFA. The weak response from Hoffa has encouraged ABF. Hoffa assigned Brad Slawson to bargain with DHL, and Slawson proceeded to negotiate a partial contract which was riddled with concessions.
DHL Teamsters responded with unity and action—flooding IBT headquarters with petitions, postcards and phone. This strong answer by the Teamster rank and file forced the Hoffa administration to scrap Slawson’s draft sellout. But DHL has detected weakness at the top of our union and will no doubt keep the pressure on.
That’s what corporations do—they go after a weak leadership. Allied Holdings got 17 percent wage concessions in the carhaul master contract, and now Performance Transportation Services is seeking concessions as well. These are the two largest employers of carhaul Teamsters.
UPS senses weaknesses at the top of our union too, and they’re making their move. Brown wants to save billions on benefit costs by ripping 42,000 Teamsters out of the Central States Pension Fund.
Save Your Contract & Benefits
Teamster members need to follow the example of the brothers and sisters at DHL who are uniting to defeat concessions and defend their master contract, the NMFA.
Bargaining for UPS is resuming soon. Freight and carhaul will follow. Now is the time to save our contracts, our union, our future.
Help build a strong network to defend our master agreements.