ABF Teamsters to Vote on 15% Cut

April 20, 2010: As expected, the International Union is recommending that ABF Teamsters ratify a 15 percent wage cut. No changes in Teamster benefits are part of the proposal.

The International Union has requested that locals hold meetings to recommend the deal on the weekend of April 24-25, and is holding a conference call for ABF Teamsters on April 27. Ballots will go soon after that.

All ABF Teamsters—working and laid off—are entitled to vote, including those presently on withdrawal from the union.

At a national meeting for local officials held on April 19, the deal was easily approved. But some officers said it would be hard to get members to agree to it, and a couple of large locals indicated that they could not recommend it.

The package would be worth about $75 million to ABF over the next year, and would continue until the end of the contract on March 31, 2013, when the Memorandum would end.

There are provisions for softening the wage cut as ABF returns to profitability. If ABF has an operating ratio of 97 percent or better, then the wage reduction would be reduced by five percent on the following April 1. Also, if ABF achieves a profit in a quarter, a bonus would be paid out according to a formula; for example, if the operating ratio is 98 percent, then one percent of wages would be returned to Teamsters.

The deal includes an “equality of sacrifice” provision for non-Teamster ABF employees and management personnel. In making the calculation, ABF is allowed to take into account all changes in benefits, co-pays, surcharges, 401(k), conditions and salary freezes since January 1, 2008, so it is not clear how much will actually be realized by this provision.

The 15 page proposed Memorandum is available here.

We encourage all Teamsters to get informed and cast a vote.

The International union issued four detailed “fact sheets” to local unions, which were prepared by management and cover these topics: ABF executive pay, ABF’s private aircraft, NASCAR sponsorship, U-Pack and Moving Solutions.

You can read those fact sheets here.

What do you think? Click here to send your comments to Teamsters for a Democratic Union.

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