Allied: Real Leadership Is Needed

April 2, 2007: Allied Teamsters are currently voting on concessions that could gut the carhaul national contract. The votes will be counted on April 16. Thanks to action in federal court by TDU’s attorney, there will be pro and con observers.

Allied Teamsters have a difficult choice. They know a bankruptcy judge could impose concessions even if they vote No. Even worse, they have gotten no leadership from the Hoffa administration.

Teamsters have been fed lies and threats. Maybe lies and threats will get the concessions passed. But they won’t save our union in carhaul or protect Teamster jobs. A union plan—not just the corporate plan for concessions—is needed to save our jobs and our contract.

The time for real leadership is now.

On March 28, Sopris, an investor group seeking to buy and operate Allied, filed a motion in court containing a term-sheet offer to Teamsters for smaller concessions than are in the Yucaipa deal.

Specifically, Sopris is proposing $30 million a year in concessions instead of $35 million, and sweetening it with stock in the new Allied to Teamsters. The motion is a public document filed in court, available on the web.

Allied management, supported by the Hoffa administration, has selected the Yucaipa offer and is going forward in court on that basis.

You will never learn any of this from the Hoffa administration. They are too busy producing lies about TDU and threats to Allied Teamsters.

Teamsters for a Democratic Union is not suggesting that Sopris is the best buyer for Allied. We believe in bargaining with corporate owners, not smooching them. But, when a second bidder comes into the picture, and begins to offer more to you, don’t you use that for bargaining leverage? Of course.

But it’s hard to bargain with an employer when you can’t get your lips off his backside. We have nothing against Ron Burkle. He may well be the better choice to take over Allied. But we do think there is room to bargain, and the time to do it is now.

It’s time for a union plan to save the national carhaul contract.

It’s time to stop lying about everyone who disagrees with you. Look at the lies the IBT sent out in just one week:

The ballot mailing, received in late March, said if Allied Teamsters vote No, Allied will liquidate and everyone will lose their jobs.

But the March 21 IBT web posting had a different story: if Allied Teamsters vote No, a bad investor (Sopris) will take over instead of Ron Burkle.

It also claimed that TDU was in a plot with Allied management (Hugh Sawyer).

Then the March 29 announcement by the IBT reversed that one: it stated that Allied management (Hugh Sawyer) is actually part of the Yucaipa plan.

So many lies, it’s hard to keep up with which one is the latest.

If the Hoffa administration would put as much effort into protecting the jobs and contract of carhaulers as they do into lies and cover-ups, they would earn the respect of Allied Teamsters, and all Teamsters.

Teamster carhaulers will unite behind a plan to win. Then the IBT would not have to threaten and bully to get Yes votes, because members would proudly vote Yes.

Carhaul Teamsters: get the latest information by calling the TDU office at 313-842-2600 or at tdu [at] tdu.org. Or click here to send a message.


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