Hoffa Moves Missouri, Texas to Western Fund

The IBT Freight Division has signed contracts with USF Bestway, a division of Yellow Roadway, in Missouri and Texas that put Teamsters there into the Western Conference Pension Fund. Missouri and Texas are in the heart of the territory of the Central States Fund, so what gives?

Apparently the corporation prefers the Western Fund, because it doesn’t have to carry unfunded liability on its books. What about protecting our Central States Fund by putting Teamsters into it, not stealing them out of it?

Yellow Roadway recently dissolved Bestway into its Reddaway and Holland subsidiaries, so now this problem passes to those carriers.

Subcontracting Layoffs At Ohio Yellow Terminal
Back on Nov. 8, 2006, Yellow management decided to start using a local nonunion cartage company to deliver commercial and residential shipments to customers who required lift-gate and straight truck equipment. When Local 407 members found out about it, they immediately filed grievances under Article 32 of the NMFA (subcontracting), and objected because seven city drivers had been laid off on Nov. 5. Two layoffs later, 14 were out of work.

It took two months for the city and clerical grievances just to be heard at the local level. The clerical grievances for the subcontracting of setting the appointments were settled, but the drivers’ grievances were deadlocked to the Cleveland City panel. Rumor has it that they will deadlock them to the Ohio state panel.

Let’s hope that these panels put a stop to the subcontracting of Teamster jobs to nonunion companies just because management won’t provide the equipment to make deliveries.

Yellow Making Changes
Management at YRC has been busy as 2007 rolls in. First, they announced they were folding USF Bestway operations into USF Holland and Reddaway. Holland is taking over terminals in Little Rock, Wichita, and Jackson, Miss. Two weeks later, they announced that Yellow and Roadway would operate under a united management: YRC National Transportation. In commenting on the realignment, CEO Bill Zollars said, “Creating a single management team will allow the company to go after the next round of cost reductions.”

Meanwhile, new changes of operation will probably be implemented at both Roadway and Yellow following January hearings.

DHL Plans Border Expansion; IBT Needs Organizing Success Now
DHL will spend $100 million over the next five years to expand cross-border services. The company plans to establish terminals in the Mexican border cities of Tijuana, Juarez, Nuevo Laredo, Reynosa and Matamoros, as well as expand U.S.-Canada operations. This is in addition to previously announced plans for a $1.2 billion expansion of their U.S. ground delivery network. All this investment occurs as the IBT attempts to organize nonunion DHL terminals and DHL’s contractors. We need a muscular organizing plan that will organize DHL before their nonunion expansion makes it harder. We’ve had the PR, now we need results.

Black Boxes on the Way
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has proposed a new rule regarding electronic on-board recorders (EOBR) that would encourage industry-wide use. The FMCSA would provide incentives to carriers for voluntary use, though specifics were not reported. The proposal would require EOBRs to record basic information needed to track driver identity, duty status, date, time and location of the commercial vehicle. Most importantly, it would record distance traveled. It would also include a GPS function as a means to enforce hours of service regulations. Truck and bus companies with a history of serious hours-of-service violations may be required to install the EOBRs in their fleets.

Court Hears Arguments on Hours-of-Service
Last December saw another day in court over hours-of-service rules. Public Citizen and other safety groups presented arguments for rejecting the January 2006 rewrite of the regs. At stake is whether issues of driver health and road safety have really been addressed by the recent rule changes. A three-judge panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals is expected to rule within months.

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