June 17, 2008: In the wake of PTS's closure, carhaul employers are trying to violate the national contract and deny the right of PTS Teamsters to follow their work.
This attack on our contract, our solidarity, and on Teamsters who struck when they were called out by the International Union cannot be tolerated. All these Teamsters ask is that Article 5 of the contract be honored by Jack Cooper, Allied, Cassens and Active Transportation.
At the national grievance hearing today, the employers refused to abide by the contract, and deadlocked initial cases, including Kentucky Local 651 vs. Cassens, and Dallas Local 745 vs. Jack Cooper. Those hearings will continue tomorrow, but the initial cases show that a stronger stand will be needed to protect our jobs and seniority rights.
Fortunately, our union has a way to settle this issue quickly. Our contract is open. The employers should be told to abide by the contract, and let PTS Teamsters—drivers, mechanics, yard and office—follow their work with their seniority, or a strike vote will follow.
This is a low-cost item to the employers. They will get quality workers, who have been performing this work for PTS and will now perform it for their new employers. They are not asking for any favors, just to follow the contract.
Defending the rights of Teamsters on the front lines, who struck when called upon—that’s solidarity 1-A. To do less would be a sell-out.
The other critical issue for our union, working with the United Auto Workers, is to ensure that the shippers place all the PTS traffic with union carriers. Some of this is in doubt, including right in Detroit, the heart of the industry.
The time to protect our jobs and contract is now.
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