August 23, 2007: In August, ABF pulled out of Trucking Management Inc. (TMI), which bargains the National Master Freight Agreement, to bargain separately.
ABF management has let it be known for some time that they would split. ABF CEO Bob Davidson earlier stated that he wants to pull out of Teamster pension plans and force ABF employees into a 401(k).
We need to let him know this isn’t going to happen: ABF always has been part of the NMFA and always will be.
In the past, other carriers have split off. Yellow Freight quit TMI and bargained separately in 1994, but signed exactly the same agreement. The union held them—and all split-off carriers—to the NMFA. This unity has always been Teamster policy, through many General Presidents. ABF needs to hear that this policy still stands.
Hoffa Signals Weakness
DHL management also informed the union that they would try to break from the NMFA. DHL Teamsters responded with unity and action—flooding IBT headquarters with petitions, postcards and phone calls.
This strong answer by the Teamster rank-and-file forced the Hoffa administration to scrap a draft sellout contract. But DHL has detected weakness at the top of our union and will no doubt keep the pressure on.
That’s what corporations do: they go after a weak leadership. ABF is no exception. It’s up to us to get show rank and file unity and strength.
What do you think our union should do to win a strong contract in 2008? Call TDU at (313) 842-2600, or go to www.tdu.org/powerinfreight.