Will Our Union Fight to Save Carhaul Jobs?

The nonunion attack against carhaul Teamsters continues unabated. Teamsters in Selkirk, N.Y., Hazelwood, Mo., and Baltimore are the latest casualties.

Over 200 Baltimore Jobs Lost

At the end of December Baltimore Local 557 lost over 200 carhaul jobs to carrier New Concept Solutions. Leaseway, now owned by Penske, had operated out of the terminal since 1938. GM refused Leaseway’s request for a rate increase and Penske terminated the contract. Drivers at New Concept Solutions are represented by the machinists’ union. This arrangement has popped up elsewhere. The presence of what is basically a company union poses just as big a threat to the unionized carhaul industry as does nonunion competition.

It appears that Hoffa’s power and prestige mean little within the AFL-CIO if the IBT is unable to stop another union from raiding one of its core jurisdictions.

More Lost Jobs in N.Y. and Mo.

Nearly as many Teamsters worked out of Selkirk, N.Y., at one time. They also received an unwanted Christmas present when Allied closed its terminal at the end of December.

In Missouri, Teamster jobs were lost to nonunion competition even before Ford’s recent announcement that the Hazelwood plant would be closed.

Allied is also using the current climate to push for concessions. Brokers out of Boston Local 25, for example, are under the gun. Allied has told them that they will have to eat whatever concessions are needed to keep the Volkswagen traffic — or lose their jobs.

Norfolk, Va., one of the few terminals in the East to resist concessions, has now been strapped with the flex workweek.

Mechanics Oppose the Flex

In the Midwest, Allied is maneuvering to get the flex workweek for mechanics. Some locals appear to be helping Allied’s efforts by repeating the lie that other locals have already accepted the flex. Fortunately, stewards are actively in touch with each other and can overcome this trick.

Conditions in driveaway [see related article] are just as difficult.

Aggressive Steps Needed

Some local unions are grumbling about the International’s lack of action, wondering when real steps (rather than PR) will be taken to address this growing problem. At a recent Detroit Local 299 meeting, members suggested that carhaul locals put together their own network.

What will come of this, or of the International’s position, is not clear.

What is clear is that hundreds more Teamster jobs are down the dumper, with more to come if aggressive steps are not taken.

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