August 23, 2007: We’re overdue for important contract improvements in wages, benefits and job protections.
Our freight wages have fallen, measured against inflation, since Hoffa took office. It’s time for some catchup. Major nonunion carriers pay almost as much.
It’s time for benefit improvements. In the Central States Fund, we need restoration of affordable retiree health care, and we need improvements across the board to protect and improve health and pension benefits.
It’s time for improvements in job security, protection against unnecessary changes of operations, and upgrading conditions in supplements to the highest level.
It’s time to eliminate some past concessions, like the tiered wage. Full wages for all freight Teamsters.
There is no excuse for any concession bargaining in this round. We’ve given more than enough. Yellow Roadway has consolidated its dominance in LTL long haul, and is moving to improve its position in short haul and premium service. ABF seems to have $650 million on hand that they want to pay to bust our Teamster pension funds. They can use that for contract improvements instead.
The IBT Contract Survey sent to all freight Teamsters didn’t seem to get this picture. Right up top, in question two, the survey asked which concession you would rather give: healthcare, pension, or wages! There was no choice of “none.”
It will be up to rank-and-file freight Teamsters to get informed, get involved and get ready. This is our contract.