May 24, 2013: Ballots will be mailed to members in early June.
The union's brochure makes the case that concessions are needed for the health of the company. ABF management circulated an internal memo "for proactive, verbal use with Teamsters employees...if you vote no, the likelihood that YRC will consummate a deal grows higher." So threats are being used too.
Key changes in the proposed Tentative Agreement include:
- Immediate 7 percent wage reduction.
- 2 percent wage increases in the following three years; 2.5 percent in the last year of five-year contract.
- Loss of one week vacation across the board.
- A Memorandum of Agreement to allow subcontracting of road work ("Purchased Transportation") up 6 percent of total miles (if limit is enforceable).
- Health and welfare benefits maintained.
- Pension contributions only to the extent required to protect pension benefits (this means no increase in contributions to the Central States or Western Conference Funds for the next five years).
- Management may use audio, video, electronic tracking devices to fire employees for "stealing time," without corroboration and without a warning letter! (New section of Article 26).
- Cost of Living clause limited and with 5¢ maximum possible.
- Coffee breaks limited to 10 minutes (Addendum B).
- Working across classifications expanded (Addendum C; and supplements). Drop and hooks, etc.
- Supervisors can handle dock pick-ups if no dock worker is on duty (Article 3).
- Profit sharing bonus if operating ratio gets to 96 percent or better.
- Local grievance panels eliminated.
There are additional changes in the supplements.
Read the agreement. Discuss it with your fellow Teamsters. Cast your vote.
"The 7 percent wage cut reduces us to less than what a nonunion carrier is paying. They say we catch up over the life of the contract but that just gets us back to where we stand now. With the cost of living rising over the next five years, we gain nothing.
"And what about losing our work to subcontracting? That lost work will take a bite out of paychecks. And we lose a week's vacation and they're not paying any increase on the pension. I vote Hell No on this contract."
Emmet Ramsay, ABF Road Driver, Local 391, Winston-Salem, N.C.
"Every ABF Teamster needs to read the new language on audio, video and computer tracking in Article 26, Section 3. The company can use this info to discipline, including terminate, without corroborating observation. We all experience how faulty the technology can be on a daily basis. Now we're going to have to defend ourselves based on shoddy data. Why is the company asking for sacrifices and then wanting to beat us over the head with an unreliable Big Brother?"
Paul Host, ABF Local Cartage, Local 200, Milwaukee