July 1, 2008: Tomorrow union officials will meet in Detroit to discuss the details of the national carhaul contract.
Carhaulers have been calling and emailing Teamsters for a Democratic Union with their opinions and concerns on the new contract.
Here’s what one brother had to say:
“In my view, if Article 48 is amended in such a way that we lose our rights to load equalization between terminals, that, all by itself is a deal breaker. Not to mention losing the ABC dispatch, which can already potentially keep a driver out for a week or more.
”Now is the time for carhaulers to stick together. It seems that both the companies and the IBT leaders want us to think that we as carhaulers are in a weak position due to the state of the economy. But the fact is that these cars can not haul themselves and there are not nearly enough nonunion carhaulers to support the companies and manufacturers if we launch a nationwide strike. They can't afford to lose any more than they already have. So we are stronger than they want us to believe.
“Operations can continue without changing Article 48. While it may be true that the companies could improve their bottom line by amending Article 48 it would certainly cost many Teamsters their jobs.
“As usual, the companies and manufactures are looking for the easy quick fix that always hurts the men and women that labor so hard for these greedy so and so's, who are quick to chip away at the rights we have labored so hard and so long for. Their story is always the same.
“I love being a Teamster and I have told people with pride of my affiliation. But it has to mean something. And that is we stick together to protect our jobs and our contract.”
Rodney Ewalt, Local 745, PTS—now Jack Cooper, Dallas, Texas
That’s one member’s opinion. What do you think? Click here to send your comments to the TDU Carhaul Committee.
TDU will be working overtime to get you the details about all the changes in Article 48 and the rest of the contract. Click here to get email updates on the carhaul contract.
June 20, 2008: The IBT and carhaul employers have reached a tentative agreement to present to the members.
Reportedly, the “two person” meeting for officers of all carhaul locals will be July 2.
Teamsters for a Democratic Union (TDU) will post the proposed tentative agreement and all supplements at that time, to provide members a chance to study and discuss it.
The proposed agreement is of three years duration. This could be a problem, because the Allied concession agreement expires in two years, and then (according to the Allied deal) “Upon the expiration of this addendum, the parties will meet to negotiate a transition to the full terms and conditions of the NMATA.” There is no “snap-back” clause to bring Allied up to union scale.
This proposed three-year deal could well mean an extra year of the concessions for Allied Teamsters. A two-year agreement would put all carhaulers on the same page by 2010.
According to verbal reports, the deal contains a two-year wage freeze and a 40¢ per hour increase the third year. There are modifications to Article 48 regarding equalization of traffic, which prevents Teamsters and locals from being played against each other.
As we get more information about the proposed agreement, we will make it available.
The Members Hold the Power
The members will have the final say, and know how to vote no if necessary to save our contract. All active and laid off carhaulers—including those out of work following the PTS closure—will have the right to vote. The vote count will be monitored.
It’s up to members to decide if this is the right deal. We urge everyone to study the contract, discuss it, and cast an informed vote.
What do you think? Click here to share your comments or questions.
Stay in the loop. Sign up for email updates from the TDU Carhaul Committee.
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.
What do you think? Click here to send your questions or comments to TDU’s Carhaul Committee.
Stay in the loop. Click here to get updates from TDU about carhaul.
June 9, 2008: Starting at 9 AM this morning, 1,250 Teamster carhaulers went on strike at Peformance Transportation Services.
Officers from local unions that represent Teamsters at PTS unanimously approved the strike in a vote on Friday. Earlier that day, a judge in a bankruptcy court approved a company proposal to slash wages by 15 percent.
PTS’s bankruptcy court maneuver was part of an end-around the bargaining process that started when the company unilaterally announced it would pull out of joint employer bargaining—just two days before the contract expired on June 1.
Today’s strike has halted operations at PTS, and the company’s subsidiaries: Leaseway Motorcar Transport Company, E. and L. Transport Company, Hadley Auto Transport and Transportation Releasing.
June 9, 2008: The International Brotherhood of Teamsters sent its members on strike at 9 this morning against the nation's No. 2 car hauler in the United States in a dispute over court-approved pay cuts and other contract issues.
The union is upset that Performance Transportation Services, which delivers 2.7 million vehicles a year including 10,400 vehicles a day for General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp., won federal bankruptcy court approval to immediately impose a 15 percent pay cut on 1,250 Teamster drivers through July 31.
Click here to read more at detnews.com.
June 6, 2008: A U.S. bankruptcy court judge approved PTS’s request for a 15 percent wage cut. Will a strike by Teamster carhaulers be next?
A bankruptcy judge approved a company request to slash by 15 percent the wages of 1,300 Teamster carhaulers at Performance Transportation Services. The wage cut takes effect today and is authorized through July 31, 2008.
The decision by the judge comes after PTS announced they would pull out of the joint employer bargaining and bargain with the union on their own—just two days before the contract expired on May 31.
Our International Union filed a motion in court to block the company’s manipulation of bankruptcy proceeds to get around the bargaining process. But the union’s motion was denied.
Now, the front line in this battle moves from the bankruptcy court to the bargaining table—and possibly the picket lines.
Teamsters at PTS are being told to be ready to strike at 9 AM on Monday morning. Members voted to authorize a strike by more than 3 to 1 last weekend.
United Teamster action is needed to defeat concessions at PTS and defend the integrity of the carhaul contract. Concessions given now will be hard—if not impossible—to win back later.
What do you think our union should do to defend our contract? Click here to send your comments and suggestions to the TDU Carhaul Committee.
Stay in the loop. Click here to get email updates from the TDU Carhaul Committee.
June 3, 2008: Teamster owner-operators may see a little more money in their pockets if Congress passes a new law stopping middlemen from skimming fuel surcharges.
Under the proposed new rules, 100 percent of fuel surcharges paid by shippers would go directly to owner-operators. Some Teamster drivers in carhaul, freight-hauling and other fields are owner-operators who are victimized by employer skimming of the surcharge.
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association helped Senators Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) draft the proposed law.
The bill will have to pass both the Senate and the House and be signed by President Bush to take effect.
Click here to visit the OOIDA website and find out how you can help support the bill.
March 14, 2008: The UPS, freight and carhaul national contracts all have a Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) clause, to help protect against inflation eating away our wages. Teamsters are asking, with gas prices heading toward $4, will we get a COLA raise?
For UPS Teamsters the answer is No.
For freight Teamsters, the answer is apparently No.
For carhaulers, it is Maybe.
For DHL Teamsters, it is Yes, according to the proposed tentative agreement.
As prices for essentials like gas and milk go sky high, why no cost of living raise for UPS Teamsters? Because the UPS contract has language specifying no COLA for 2008. The next time any adjustment is possible is August 2009.
The freight contract language, as posted on the IBT website (Article 33), seems to indicate that Teamsters should get a COLA increase on April 1. However, other language received from the IBT states regarding COLA “No change except change dates to make effective in new agreement.” Apparently this language means No.
The proposed DHL tentative agreement states that COLA will be paid on April 1, 2008 (Article 21, Section 2 of proposed deal). We have calculated that it will be 16¢ per hour. Not enough to fill your tank, but certainly some help.
That same 16¢ is what freight Teamsters would have gotten this April 1, with language requiring it.
Carhaulers should get a COLA increase of 32¢ on June, assuming that the same clause in the existing contract is retained (the contract expires May 30) with a COLA pay out for this year. That remains to be bargained. Unfortunately Teamsters at Allied will get nothing, because of concessions signed last year.
Why twice as much for carhaul? Because the carhaul COLA formula pays exactly twice as much as the freight clause does. The mileage pay increase for carhaul (assuming the clause is in effect this year) will be 0.8¢ per running mile (1.6¢ per loaded mile).
The Devil in the Details
UPS and freight Teamsters get zero, DHL Teamsters get 16¢ (at least according to the language of the proposed deal), carhaulers will get 32¢ if the present clause is retained for this year.
This shows that when it comes to a cost of living clause, the details really count. Waiving the clause in this year of high inflation was costly to Teamsters.
Our national contracts have some protection against runaway inflation, but few local contracts do. It’s not an easy item to bargain with most employers. But with inflation heating up, it may be time to put it on the bargaining agenda wherever possible.
March 12, 2008: Carhaul bargaining begins on March 17 in Scottsdale, Arizona.
You can take a look for yourself at the union proposals, which TDU is making available to Teamsters.
Click here to see the union’s proposals for the Master Agreement.
Click here for the union’s proposals for the Central & Southern Supplement.
We will post the Eastern and Western supplement proposals as they become available.
Keep in mind these proposals can be added-to and amended. They need a whole lot more meat to address the needs of carhaulers.
PTS Future on the Line
The future of PTS is on the line this week as bids are being submitted to the bankruptcy court to acquire the company.
PTS CEO Jeff Cornish is telling Teamsters that he hopes PTS will emerge as a stand-alone company with less debt burden, perhaps with Black Diamond as the dominant owner.
Cornish also issued a letter to PTS employees, in which he says that the March 14 auction to sell PTS has been postponed. His letter also says that negotiation of a new contract will be a priority for the new owners of PTS.
Allied has also submitted a bid; the International Union is supporting that effort by Ron Burkle to merge PTS into Allied. A hearing in bankruptcy court will decide it soon.
Lawsuit to Stop Concessions Needs Your Help
PTS and Allied Teamsters, along with St Louis Local 604 have filed a motion in federal bankruptcy court to try to prevent Allied from changing the concession term sheet so they can impose a 17.5 percent cut on PTS Teamsters. This is in the event that Allied takes over PTS.
No matter what happens, donations are urgently needed to help defray the costs of the lawsuit. You can donate via a secure website at www.teamsters604.org. You’ll see “Help fight carhaul concessions.” Pitch in some solidarity today.
Get Informed—Get in Touch
Carhaulers need to stand together, or we will hang separately.
Stay in the loop. Click here to get regular updates from TDU about the fight to protect our standards in carhaul.
Do you have a question or an idea about carhaul bargaining? Click here to send a comment, suggestion, or question to Teamsters for a Democratic Union.
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