Teamster Freight Proposals

October 4, 2007: Negotiations for the National Master Freight Agreement (NMFA), and all the regional supplements have begun in Arizona.

If you want to see a copy of the union's initial national proposals and for the supplements, click here. These proposals were prepared by the Freight Division and have been given to Trucking Management Inc (TMI), which represents Yellow Roadway and its subsidiary companies.

Freight Director Tyson Johnson told local union officers on September 13 he would submit a lean packet of union proposals, and said he expects TMI to also have few major proposals.

Freight Division: Different Strategy from UPS

The Freight Division is taking two very different strategies from others in the Hoffa administration. First, Johnson stated that the Union will not allow any carrier to split from any Teamster pension plan. This is the opposite of what Hoffa and Ken Hall are doing in the UPS negotiations.

Second, the Freight Division intends to bargain with TMI first, then hold ABF to mirror the same contract. This is the opposite of what Hoffa and Brad Slawson are doing at DHL. The 27 locals with DHL units under the NMFA have been pulled out of the Freight Division, and only an organized rank and file is holding back Slawson from giving the company what they want.

Preserving national master contracts, and preserving our pension plans: Both of these are key to maintaining Teamster power.

New Penn, a Yellow Roadway subsidiary that is not part of TMI, has already signed a "me too" agreement: they will sign whatever comes out of the NMFA negotiations.

Proposals on the Table: More Needed

The union's initial proposals are indeed lean. In some areas, the union intends to add more substance, especially in Article 29 and 32, covering subcontracting, substitute service and job protection.

The big-ticket items that involve monetary issues are not contained in the initial proposals. The UPS negotiations will likely set the table on the issue of pension and health and welfare money; the UPS tentative agreement calls for $1 per year for benefits (pension and health and welfare) with the possibility of further diversion of wage increases.

There is one proposal that should be changed: it is proposed that a new-hire with two years of NMFA-type work experience not be subject to the new-hire wage progression. This could lead to discrimination in hiring, as management would save tens of thousands of dollars by hiring someone from J B Hunt instead of a Teamster. The answer is to demand elimination of the new hire clause.

Teamsters should get informed, get involved and get ready to make your voice heard for a good contract.

Click here to read the initial freight proposals.
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