UPDATED May 20, 2010: Ballots are in the mail for proposed concessions at ABF, and members are speaking out. Here’s what some of them are saying.
Yeah! What happened? ABF, so they claim, is #1 in the industry in pricing, if the freight doesn't pay, they don't haul it. ABF claims to be #1 in the industry in cargo claims and at the present time at a historical low claims cost for the company. ABF also claims to be outstanding in safety performance, which most definitely has a very positive impact on their bottom line. One of ABF's largest overheads is labor cost, but ABF claims to have adjusted their labor force (layoffs) accordingly to meet their needs to service the current volume of freight.
With this said, I am not convinced that wage concessions for the labor force that make these great things happen is the answer to solving a financial problem that may or may not exist. The best alternative plan may be to check the batteries in the bookkeepers calculator. PROUD TEAMSTER, YET UNCONVINCED ABFer.
Ashley A. Little Local 878 Little Rock, AR
Our officers have no fear of lost wages so why shouldn’t they approve this B.S. Members had no input on suggestions or opinions for how ABF could save money Vote down this injustice and demand to be heard before the next proposal.
Al Kruger, Local 776, Carlisle, Penn.
Everyone knows that ABF will take the wage cut and give it to the sales department and tell them to go cut rates. Then the nonunion competition will make the same demand on their employees and drive down rates further. We’re chasing a downward spiral on wages and don’t know where it will stop. When will ABF and the IBT push for a legislative initiative that re-regulates freight rates?
Tom Nacey Jr., Local 30, Greensburg, Penn.
When times were good, we had to fight for 40, 45, 50 cents an hour pay raises. Now ABF had one bad year and they want 15 percent back. That puts us back at least three contracts. Vote NO.
Robert Precht, Local 705, Chicago, Ill.
Shame on the IBT for selling us short.
Harold Sherman, Local 251, Seekonk, Mass.
To All Teamster Brothers & Sisters:
It is imperative that you read the MOU that you received in the mail before you vote!
To be honest with everyone, I’m not finding this an easy decision at all. But, I'm being careful not to cut off my nose to spite my face.
I don’t have much confidence in an economic turnaround soon. You do pay for your job with union dues and that pays for officials to oversee these things. I think they have made their opinion of the company’s bloodshed quite clear. This Company’s losses are also our losses!
I wish there was another way here also. But I’m very uneasy about this one, and still undecided!
Local 377, North Lima, Ohio
It Started with the UPS Freight Contract
The whole situation we face in freight goes back to when Hoffa gave UPS Freight their own contract. Instead of bringing UPS Freight under the national master and pension plans, it brought the threat of bringing YRC and ABF standards down. Once that contract was signed, it made it tough for those companies to compete.
Although I know my future is uncertain, I wonder how long UPS Teamsters can watch as their futures become more uncertain because they share many of the same pension plans with us.
Something has to give. We can no longer sit back and watch as the fat cats secure their pensions at the expense of the membership. Teamsters have to step up and get involved or have no one to blame but themselves.
Local 404, Springfield, Mass.
When ABF was making enough money to put away $200 million for their rainy day fund, they didn’t share any of that with working Teamsters. I don’t see why we should be asked to give up wages to replenish their losses. The economy is turning around and ABF will be rolling in cash. I didn’t buy my job when they hired me and I shouldn’t have to pay for my job now. Vote No!
Patrick Herbert Local 107, Philadelphia
I don’t see how we can recruit any new members to the Teamsters. What could we say to someone considering the freight industry? Be a Teamster—work nights, weekends and for less money than you’ll get at a nonunion carrier. Oh, and by the way, don’t count on a pension when you retire.
If Hoffa or any other incumbent Teamster officer thinks they are getting my vote they better jump off the delusional express. The ride is over.
Jim Conway Local 705, Chicago
We haven’t seen any real numbers on what the managements cuts are going to be. We need an informed vote and that means having all the facts—not promises. And as to the snap back—when was the last time ABF had a 98 OR (Operating Ratio)? Be sure to check out the info you get with your ballot and ask questions. Know what you’re really voting for.
Steve Young Local 695, Madison, Wisc.
Why do they call it negotiations when the come back so quick with the proposed wage cuts? We need to vote it down and send them back to figure something better to offer. In Nebraska, drivers are saying hell no!
Clinton Rast Local 554, Omaha, Neb.
YRC Teamsters took a major hit to save the company and now ABF wants their pay cut too. We’re voting on concessions to level the playing field but who’s winning the game? What happens when we go below the non-unions?
The union brothers I talk to around the country say NO!
Mark Aguilar Local 710, Chicago
Everyone should check out ABF stock compared to YRC. A couple years ago, ABF said they had enough money to buy out the pension but now they say they are $37 million in the hole. What happened to all that money?
Clifton Adams Local 705, Chicago
What do you think? Click here to send your comments to the TDU Freight Committee.