ABF Concession Negotiations?

December 7, 2009: VP Kemp said they’re happening. Tyson Johnson denied it. Who do we believe?

he company and Hoffa’s team have never shown much interest in how working Teamsters make ABF tick. They want to take it out of us in lean times but they never give us bonuses or improvements when their profit margins are fat.

Why the big comparison with YRC? We were always told by management that ABF wasn’t interested in the same accounts or freight that Yellow and Roadway went after. ABF was content carving out our own piece of the market. That’s why our numbers have been pretty stable and consistent over recent years.

Now, management says YRC got theirs, we want ours. Well, what’s in it for Teamster members? We need more than pleas for helping ABF compete with YRC. Remember, when Bear Stearns went down the drain, they kept pushing that on us as a reason to give up our pensions.

Let ABF open their books. I bet they’re far from the YRC situation. Sure, ABF numbers are down just like many other freight carriers. But they’re not catastrophic like YRC. ABF profits will bounce back with an upturn in the economy.

ABF and the IBT may want to dance around the topic of negotiations. Working Teamsters can bring their word games to a halt. Tell them loud and clear—we won’t vote for givebacks. Period.

By Paul Host, ABF Local 200, Milwaukee

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