January 10, 2008: The IBT Carhaul Division will soon start bargaining with the employers for a new national contract. The current contract expires May 31. But the negotiations will be held under a cloud of concessions.
As of mid-January, the future of the 1,500 Teamsters employed at PTS is up in the air. In December the International Union conducted a vote of Allied Teamsters to cut the wages of PTS Teamsters in the event that Allied takes over PTS.
The Hoffa administration is closely aligned with the private investment firm Yucaipa and its principal owner, Ron Burkle. Yucaipa first took control of PTS, then later, with IBT help, took control of Allied and imposed 17.5 percent concessions last summer.
The future of PTS and its Teamster employees will soon be sorted out in bankruptcy court in Buffalo. Allied is expected to re-submit a bid to take over the assets of the company.
IBT Calls for Terminals to Close
PTS Teamsters are getting little help or even information from the International Union. The Hoffa administration is so loyal to Burkle that they have called—in advance of any merger of the two companies—for some PTS terminals to be closed: “PTS kept too many poorly operating terminals open,” stated the Carhaul Division’s letter to members in December.
Lansing Local 580 PTS steward George Warner and St. Louis Local 604 filed a motion in bankruptcy court in Georgia asking that no concessions be imposed on the PTS Teamsters without their being allowed a vote. Instead of Allied filing opposition papers, it was the IBT who carried the water for Yucaipa, calling for the motion to be dismissed. No hearing has been held as of mid-January. We need a plan to save good Teamster jobs, not just a plan to make friends with Ron Burkle.
Local unions received notice in late December that locals and members only have until Jan. 15 to submit bargaining proposals. Many locals didn’t have time to even hold a proposal meeting. Click here to download a form to submit proposals.
The contract will cover Allied, PTS (if it still exists separately), Jack Cooper, PMT, Cassens, Active, and some yard companies. With Allied and PTS making up over half of the industry, the other companies will be looking to match the 17.5 percent cut and three-year wage freeze at Allied.
Carhaulers are looking to hold the line, save good jobs and a future for ourselves and our union. We need a plan to bring Allied back up to scale, and not degrade the whole contract.
If you want to be part of making it happen, contact TDU today.Click here to contact TDU's rank-and-file network in carhaul, or call (313) 842-2600.