June 13, 2014: Bret Subsits is an ABF road driver in Local 710, a truck driver for over 30 years, formerly in Chicago locals 703 and 705. Bret was a Hoffa supporter in 1996 and 1998. He says that was “the biggest mistake of my life.”
He’s been active in fighting back against concessions, and wants to rebuild Teamster power in trucking.
What's the situation in trucking like right now?
“I see a company out of control, and no push-back from our union. I see a lot of nonunion carriers doing too much of our work, and even pulling our trailers out of end-ofline terminals. I see an International doing nothing to organize in freight or trucking, or organize the nonunion carriers that the International expects us to work with.”
Bret has been networking with Teamsters and posting on Facebook pages “No More Concessions” and “Rebuild the IBT”.
What do you think about the 2016 IBT Election?
“We’ve had 15 years of Hoffa and little to show for it. This year, we had to give up a seven percent wage cut and a week’s vacation due to poor leadership at the top. We desperately need change at the International. With the 2016 election, we can start organizing now. We need to educate and involve members. Get back to basics. We need to defend our contracts and fight for better ones.”
Why did you join TDU?
“I think James P Hoffa is out of touch with members. He gives employers what they want, and lacks the backbone to fight for members. In the last contract fight, the International couldn’t hear our voice, but TDU did. Teamsters are talking more about TDU. More get information from the TDU website, as members get more computer savvy. We need organization and knowledge. That’s how we are going to get our union back on track."
ABF Proposes Change to Realign System
ABF submitted paperwork to the National Utility Employee Review Committee for a change of operation they propose to implement on or about July 13, 2014. The company requested the hearing be held on June 19 in Houston.
The change calls for a realignment of “High Velocity Exchange Points” and the use of utility drivers. ABF terminals and networks aligned with Dallas, Denver, Phoenix, and Seattle will be affected. The numbers are essentially a wash as UE, local cartage, and road bids are reshuffled.
The proposed change also addresses “end of the line” terminals in parts of the Central and Southern regions. Again it calls for a reshuffling or realignment of UE work.
ABF proposes a total realignment of 42 bids shifting to UE designation that were either formerly UE or also local cartage and road positions. The company claims the change is essential to increase market share and efficiencies for three to five day service lines.