June 8, 2007: Teamster carhaulers have entered the one-year countdown to the next national contract. The time for rank and file carhaulers to establish our network to share information, strengthen unity and build power is now.
June 1 marked the start of the contract year, as well as the date that our national contract became two-tier for the first time in Teamster history. Teamsters at Allied now make 17.5 percent less than other carhaulers.
“It’s brutal,” a Detroit driver commented as he thought about what he will lose in the coming year.
Many carhaulers are angry at the Hoffa administration for allowing it to get to this point. That anger has to be turned into a positive force.
We do have power. This is still—despite the growth of nonunion companies—a heavily unionized field dependent on a small number of shippers, with a highly skilled Teamster workforce.
Our network can unite Teamsters into a force to protect our contract.
Even in the face of threats from the company, the union, and the bankruptcy court, Allied Teamsters voted No in most big carhaul locals, and 48 percent overall. With another week of outreach, that deal would have been rejected.
We face a big challenge in the coming contract because the IBT leadership signed a three-year freeze with Allied.
The answer to that problem is this: what was taken away can be won back.
If Allied returns to profitability, the IBT can demand to reopen the Allied contract, with the aim of reestablishing wage parity. And the national contract we are about to bargain can contain language to facilitate that.
The time to organize is now. Contact Teamsters for a Democratic Union at (313) 842-2600 or send a message.