February 2, 2012: The National Master Freight Agreement expires a little more than a year from now.
It’s time to get ready—or we will regret it later.
Bargaining for the NMFA will start well before the contract expires on March 31, 2013. Members are saying now is the time to start getting ready.
“We need to take the lead at ABF,” commented Geneva Huneycutt, a road driver out of Indianapolis. “The company is profitable. There’s no need for concessions.”
Maintaining standards has been an uphill fight over the past four years as freight Teamsters have seen the steady deterioration of past contract gains. They’ve seen little push back from Teamster leaders when it comes to defending the contract.
But members know they can make the difference because in the end it comes down to their vote on any contract.
“ABF claimed they needed concessions to stay in business,” said Everette Cole, a road Teamster at ABF in Atlanta. “We did the right thing voting down concessions. ABF is still making money—and we didn’t take a pay cut.”
ABF recently reported a profitable year for 2011, a solid improvement over 2010.
“Hoffa and Tyson need to understand they were wrong when they pushed the ABF concessions,” said Huneycutt. “Members want a leadership that’s got a backbone. Our starting point and bottom line has to be a ‘no concessions’ stance. Members will rally around that. We’ve taken the short end for too long and we’ve had enough.”
Members Need a Plan
It will be up to Teamsters at ABF to take the lead on the next contract. It will also be crucial to be prepared for the 2013 negotiations. Members need a contract campaign plan and it’s high time the IBT get going on making it happen.
“At the end of the day, we need to make sure we have a national freight contract,” concluded Huneycutt. “That’s always been our union’s strength.”
Our Vote Is Our Power
“ABF claimed they needed concessions to stay in business. We did the right thing by voting down the concessions. ABF is still making money—and we didn’t take a pay cut.”
Everette Cole, Local 728, Atlanta
No Need for Concessions
“We need to take the lead at ABF. The company is profitable. There’s no need for concessions. Our starting point and our bottom line has to be ‘no concessions.’ Members will rally around that.”
Geneva Huneycutt, Local 135 Indianapolis