March 23, 2011: The shake-up in the unionized carhaul industry continues, with no clear end in sight.
Union carriers Jack Cooper and Cassens have been awarded a lot of Allied’s traffic. Jack Cooper is picking up the GM work, and Cassens the Chrysler work. Both are scrambling to get enough trucks in place to haul the traffic, and using drive-away for some local work.
Allied, the largest North American vehicle carrier up till this time, initiated the shake up when they informed GM and Chrysler in mid-March that they would not haul any more of their cars, in a move to force higher rates from the manufacturers. Allied got a new five-year contract with Ford, and hopes to get more Ford work.
The joint committee met on March 21 and made a number of seniority rulings regarding Allied drivers who will be going to work for Cassens or Jack Cooper at a number of locations, including Ft. Wayne Indiana, Bowling Green Kentucky, Wentzville Missouri, Chicago, Nashville, Memphis, various Detroit-area locations, and more.
In Canada, hundreds of Allied drivers have been paid for a week so far to not work, as cars pile up two GM plants and the Windsor Chrysler plant.
A best-case scenario may be that Allied survives as a mostly-Ford carrier, Jack Cooper hauling mostly GM, and Cassens mostly Chrysler, with all having a slice of the import traffic.
However already at some smaller terminals nonunion outfits have been awarded some of the former Allied work. The danger is that this shake up could expand the nonunion sector.
The International union has been almost invisible during this crisis. No plan of action to save jobs, and no real communication with members.
Both GM and Chrysler have sued Allied over holding cars “hostage”. A news report on those suits is here.