November 30, 2012: On November 29 officers from all freight locals met in Kansas City to hear the International Union's plans for bargaining with ABF, including a union proposal for a two-year contract.
The meeting, which lasted only a little over an hour, was conducted by Gordon Sweeton and Tyson Johnson of the IBT Freight Division, who distributed the union's initial bargaining proposals.
We encourage members to review these proposals.
The union's economic proposals:
- A two-year contract, which would align the expiration with that of YRC
- $1 per hour wage hike in each year
- Maintain present level of pension and health and welfare benefits
- Add two holidays, Martin Luther King Day and Veterans Day
- Shorten the wage progression to two years
- Raise the pay for dock casuals to 70% of scale
The company is certain to oppose all of these demands, and to put forward concessionary demands, and to propose a long-term contract.
The union is proposing very few changes in contract language. Some improvements in Article 16 (safety) are proposed, and a ban on the use of GPS or "black box" technology for discipline.
ABF's Own Contract Plan
Meanwhile, management is hard at work softening up members to accept concessions. ABF Teamsters have all received a DVD and a postcard in the mail, and many are required to watch the DVD at their terminal, on the clock. In the DVD presentation, ABF CEO Roy Slagle lays out the line for concessions.
At the Nov. 29 national meeting, the International Union officers mentioned the company's organized program against union solidarity. There's NO plan to counter the company's propaganda, and NO plan for a positive union program to inform and unify freight Teamsters.
Also not mentioned was the pre-bargaining concession of 65¢ per hour in benefit contributions given to ABF in the West. A report on this deal – which very few members heard about until TDU reported it – can be found here.
Giving concessions before bargaining even starts is at-odds with the positive demands that the International union has committed to bargaining for.
Bargaining is set to open in December. The company wants an agreement in place well before the March 31 expiration.
Stay Informed – Stay Involved
The Hoffa administration's policy is to keep members in the dark, which weakens our unity and bargaining power.
Teamsters for a Democratic Union works to inform freight Teamsters to help every member to be involved. It's our contract, our future, and our Right to Vote on that contract.
Concerned ABF Teamsters – and other freight Teamsters, too – can stay informed and get involved by signing up for e-mail updates at NoFreightConcessions.org.