Vascor is a growing logistics player in the auto industry and already operates some off-site yard operations in carhaul. In a letter from Allied’s labor relations department to IBT carhaul director Doc Conder, Allied says Vascor intends to open nonunion, but that they are “not adverse to Teamster representation.”
Teamsters from a number of the GM locations report that they have not heard one word from the International union, and some local union officers report that they can’t find anything out from the International either.
Has the union met with Allied about these jobs? Has Allied opened their books so the union can see the economics of the situation? Has Vascor been approached about accepting the experienced TSI/Allied workers, and the union contract? What is the plan to organize Vascor, and to protect the jobs and pensions of the affected Teamsters? Is there any plan at all?
Our union has given plenty of goodies to Allied management, including a wage freeze. It’s time to call in the favors and protect the jobs of a lot of Teamsters.
Carhaul Companies, Union Both Need to Change
Billy Scott, now driving for Allied and a long-time union rep for Detroit Local 299, made the following observations in a letter to carhaul friends:
The union carhaul carriers can't see the forest for the trees. They are unwilling to take on the nonunion sector. More importantly, they are unwilling to take on the manufacturers. They continually want to beat up on the union for letting this happen to them, while they continue to give these nonunion operations footholds into their business.
Allied is the prime example: Allied is content to let the nonunion entities chip off, piece by piece, segments of their operations. They would rather a nonunion carrier get their work than one of their union competitors.
The Teamsters Union leadership has written this 10,000 member division off. They give it a lot of lip service, but provide little or no resources to actually go after these non-Teamster companies. They say that the Local Unions should do it. I know of no Local Union with the resources to take on a full blown organizing drive, not even for a small company, let alone an operation like Fleet Car, United Road Service, Swift, BMW or Waggoneer.
This attitude on the part of the union leadership has to change, and rank and file carhaulers have to make it happen, and participate in that organizing.
Active Takes 300 Teamster Jobs: Local 654 Sues
Over 300 Teamster carhaulers in Springfield,Ohio lost their jobs May 1 when their work hauling Navistar trucks was transferred from Active Transportation to Auto Truck Transport. Both Active and ATT are owned by JHT Holdings. ATT – whose workers are represented by the International Association of Machinists (IAM) – pays $620 per month in pension and health & welfare benefits. Active pays $1,760.
The job losses are particularly hard to swallow because in May 2003 the Teamsters agreed to a two-year wage freeze in carhaul to offset rising health care costs.
JHT’s CEO, Dennis Troha, has also used the same scam in other parts of the country to whipsaw Teamster carhaulers into accepting lower benefits or losing work. JHT’s subsidiaries haul more than 70% of the truck tractors made in the U.S. and Canada. Teamster Local 654 has sued in federal court to stop the Springfield work transfer, arguing that it was done solely to avoid paying pension and health & welfare benefits. The International union has not mounted a campaign to save Teamster driveaway jobs.