March 25, 2011: As we go to press in late March, the shake-up in the unionized carhaul industry continues.
Union carriers Jack Cooper and Cassens have been awarded a lot of Allied’s traffic. Jack Cooper is picking up the GM work, and Cassens the Chrysler work. Both are scrambling to get enough trucks in place to haul the traffic, and using drive-away for some local work.
Allied, previously the largest North American vehicle carrier, initiated the shake up when they informed GM and Chrysler in mid-March that they would not haul any more of their cars, in a move to force higher rates from the manufacturers. Allied got a new five-year contract with Ford, and hopes to get more Ford work.
The International Union has been almost invisible during this crisis. As of this writing, there is no action plan to protect union jobs, or even any communication with members.
The joint committee met on March 21 and made a number of seniority rulings regarding Allied drivers who will be going to work for Cassens or Jack Cooper at a number of locations.
In Canada, hundreds of Allied drivers have been paid for a week so far to not work, as cars pile up at two GM plants and the Windsor Chrysler plant.
A best-case scenario may be that Allied survives as a mostly-Ford carrier, Jack Cooper hauling mostly GM, and Cassens mostly Chrysler, with all having a slice of the import traffic.
However already at some smaller terminals nonunion outfits have been awarded some of the former Allied work. The danger is that this shake up could expand the nonunion sector.