September 1, 2009: The Hoffa administration has taken control of bargaining the Northwest Reddaway trucking contract from the local unions in Washington and Oregon, in a move to help YRC impose concessions.
The locals in Seattle and along the I-5 corridor in Oregon learned of the takeover by getting a copy of a letter Hoffa sent to Bob Paffenroth, offering him the position of Chairman of a subcommittee of the Teamsters National Freight industry Negotiating Committee (TNFINC) with full authority to appoint the other members of the subcommittee and negotiate a contract. The locals were not consulted or even notified before the appointment was offered to Paffenroth.
Reddaway is a regional carrier bought by YRC several years ago. It has long been union in the Northwest. Much of the company is nonunion. Paffenroth was involved in negotiating a substandard contract with Reddaway covering some of its California and Southwest terminals.
The Northwest contract with Reddaway, a white paper agreement, has always been bargained by the local unions, with stewards from the various locals making up the majority of the union bargaining team. Neither TNFINC nor the IBT is a party to the Northwest Reddaway Agreement, so it is dubious whether the Hoffa Administration has the legal standing to take over the bargaining.
Management wants to impose concessions on Reddaway Teamsters similar to those which took effect at YRC a month ago. Apparently the Hoffa administration is determined that management will prevail. But Reddaway Teamsters already have lower wages and pensions than the national contract, and aren't willing to accept drastic concessions.
Chicago: Bargaining to Resume?
Freight Director Tyson Johnson and International Secretary Treasurer Tom Keegel visited Chicago Locals 705 and 710 last week to attempt to get officers and members there to accept the concessions that they overwhelmingly rejected a month ago. YRC management will be coming to Chicago this week.
It may be worth nothing that those pushing the concessions—Hoffa, Keegel, and Johnson—all got nice raises in 2008.
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