June 26, 2008: By a vote of 281-15, freight Teamsters in Chicago Local 705 passed a strike authorization vote that gave their negotiating team a strong message to take back to the bargaining table.
The vote came in the wake of a number of bargaining sessions in April and May that led to little progress. Prior to voting at the union hall, members received a thorough update on bargaining.
A number of Teamsters spoke from the floor stating their opposition to using the recently ratified National Master Freight contract (NMFA) as the model for the 705 pact.
The vote was a rebuke to a recent statement made in negotiations by TMI/YRC bargaining chair, Phil Stanoch, “705 will not get anything more than what we agreed to with the National contract.”
However, when bargaining came to a standstill in May, a company negotiator confirmed their proposals were not the “last, best and final offer.” The strike vote could encourage a shift in the employer bargaining positions.
Local 705 has historically bargained separate contracts and traditionally garnered some improvements over the NMFA.
Clearly, Chicago Teamsters expect more from this contract.
You can learn more about the contract situation and the union’s demands from the Local 705 website: www.teamsterslocal705.org