May 23, 2008: The Freight Division has given local unions eight Memoranda of Understanding that the union has signed with the freight carriers.
Some of these modifications or additions to the National Master Freight Agreement were revealed prior to the contract vote, but some of them were previously unknown to members.
One side-letter deals with a provision of the Pension Protection Act. It provides that in the event that employers are required to pay a surcharge to a pension fund that is in the “red zone,” then that surcharge would be deducted from the benefit money negotiated in the NMFA. Thus, the employers would not pay any additional surcharge; it would come out of money for members’ benefits and could lead to health care cuts. Fortunately this provision will probably not come into play because pension plans in the red zone, such as Central States, will very likely already have a rehabilitation plan in place.
Three important memoranda deal with the new Article 29, Section 6, which allows for the diversion of up to 10% of road work to a nonunion “Preferred Carrier.”
These side-letters are now in effect, and the employers can rely on them. Stewards and concerned members can download them by clicking here.