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Teamsters, ABF Address Non-Economic Issues As Negotiations Kick-Off
The Teamsters National Freight Industry Negotiating Committee (TNFINC) met with ABF this week to start negotiations for a new ABF National Master Freight Agreement (NMFA) that would take the place of the current agreement which is set to expire on March 31.
The meetings this week focused primarily on language issues but ABF continues to raise claims that its employee and operating costs are too high. TNFINC however, has made clear that the members are not interested in a concessionary contract.
The parties spent this week trying to resolve some of the less controversial issues.
“Rather than get bogged down right off the bat in what could easily result in a collision, we spent this week trying to resolve some of the less controversial issues and made progress in those areas,” said Ernie Soehl, Director of the Teamsters National Freight Division and Co-Chairman of TNFINC.
The parties have tentatively agreed on a number of national language articles, including with regard to: Scope of the Agreement; Recognition; Union Shop and Checkoff; Stewards; Protection of Rights; Loss or Damage; Bonds and Insurance; Uniforms; Passengers; Military Leave; Pay Period; Other Services; Posting; Union Activities; Owner Operators; Separation of Employment; Inspection
Privileges and Employer and Employee Identification; Emergency Reopening; Sympathetic Action; Jurisdictional Disputes; Garnishments; and Non- Discrimination. Most of these tentatively agreed upon articles simply remain unchanged from the current contract but according to Soehl, it made sense to initially “pick the low hanging fruit” and get non-controversial items out of the way.
“We remain committed to getting the best possible agreement for our members,” Soehl said.
The parties will reconvene on January 29 to resume negotiations.
YRC to Pay $1 Million for Exceeding Rail Max
Company Exceeded Permissible Amount of Freight That Can Be Diverted
The Teamsters Union has won a $1 million settlement on behalf of YRC Freight’s road drivers.
The collective bargaining agreement with YRC Freight limits the amount of over-the-road freight that can be put on trains or hauled by non-bargaining unit personnel. The Teamsters Union monitors those amounts. After reviewing the situation and convening a meeting of the committee that monitors compliance, it was determined that the company had in fact exceeded the permissible amounts.
“Our YRC members have an agreement that strongly protects bargaining unit work and work opportunities and the company acknowledged that it diverted more freight than what is allowed,” said Ernie Soehl, Director of the Teamsters National Freight Division. “We will always seek to hold employers accountable by making sure they abide by our contracts and agreements.”
After reviewing the records, it was clear that a substantial amount of the diverted freight—carried mostly on rail—was the direct result of extraordinary service and terminal interruptions resulting from hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The committee determined that under the unique circumstances of the matter the company should not be penalized for these “Acts of God.” Nevertheless, the committee determined that the company still exceeded the maximum road miles that could be hauled on rails and ordered it to pay $1,003,930.00.
YRC Freight will be contacting Teamster local unions to review the lists of drivers who are eligible for the payment.
XPO (Con-way) and The Teamsters – History
XPO (Con-way) and The Teamsters – History
Written by Teamsters492.org admin Trey White - As some of you may remember, non-union Con-way was created by CF-Consolidated Freightways in 1983. CF shutdown in 2002 while Con-way somehow continued to operate. Now known as XPO, who acquired Con-way in 2015, it has been a rough ride for the workers of this company as the non-union/anti-worker mantra seems to be embedded into the Company regardless of who owns it or what they name it. Recently published info about XPO’s horrible benefit package (really horrible when compared to union carriers ABF & YRC), shows the XPO workers are paying an average of $7556 per year, which does not include the additional out-of-pocket expenses if/when the worker uses the insurance. XPO’s best family insurance is a PPO plan called the “Classic Plan,” which includes very basic vision and dental coverage at extra cost and a possible additional “spouse surcharge”. XPO/Con-way also has no real retirement “plan” as their pension ceased being funded in 2007, XPO currently only has a mainly worker funded 401(k).
For over 3 years now, the Teamsters Union has been actively responding to the calls that have come in from workers at XPO/Con-way across America. The Teamsters have had some organizing successes, but the anti-union Company has been actively fighting their own employee’s wishes to bargain as a collective voice. You may have read about a dozen or so of these battles, but there is way more of a fight going on than you may be aware of.
Con-way/XPO will not agree to Card Check Neutrality, but instead has taken the low road by doing everything they can, including spending tons of money to hire “union busters” and tying up the election and bargaining process in court. It seems XPO/Con-way would prefer to waste its money on lawyers and union busters rather than spend that same money on improving the lives and working conditions of its own employees, who they could not operate profitably without. XPO does not want their employees to have a collective voice or allow them to choose a representative who has their best interests at the bargaining table. You decide for yourself, here are some examples of their behavior:
There have been dozens of locations that have had workers/Unions file various petitions and/or charges with NLRB involving XPO/Con-way because the workers are tired of the way the company is treating them when they show interest in becoming Teamsters. In fact, an administrative law judge with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled Con-way Freight violated the rights of workers who were trying to form their Union with the Teamsters and required the company to re-hire two workers it unlawfully fired during an organizing campaign with full back pay, among other remedies. Administrative Judge Eleanor Laws wrote in her decision, “By instructing employees not to wear Union insignia, threatening employees for supporting the Union, filing criminal charges against an employee, suspending employees, and terminating employees because they supported the Union, the Respondent has engaged in unfair labor practices…”
In September of 2015, XPO Logistics purchased Con-way Freight for $3 Billion. Over the last 3 years, the XPO/Con-way freight workers have been fighting for their right to collectively bargain. The brave workers have survived a huge Anti-Union battle being waged against them as they simply try to improve their workplace by having a collective voice. These workers voted for Teamster representation at terminals in Miami; North Haven, Conn.; and Philadelphia, Los Angeles; Laredo, Texas; Aurora, Illinois; and Trenton, NJ, but there is still not a single CBA in any of those 7 locations, even though multiple NLRB charges have been won by the Teamsters mandating XPO recognize the Teamsters as the bargaining agent and negotiate a contract. The Company has waged negotiating stall tactics including protesting the elections resulting in Teamster representation, but in September of 2016, The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected XPO Logistics’ bid to throw out a Union representation vote at Laredo, Texas, during 2014, and again in December 2016 and again by the Supreme Court in July of 2017 and has again ordered the company to negotiate in good faith with the Teamsters.
Unfortunately, the anti-Union company has also been able to intimidate enough workers at many locations that the Teamsters have had to withdrawal election petitions and in some cases have lost some elections, many by a very small margin.
Soon after Teamster organizing got under way at Con-way, in another effort to slow the organizing progress, Con-way announced it would increase truck driver pay 6% (spending about $60 million) starting Jan 4th, 2015, and make other improvements. “It seems more than mere coincidence that these two companies (Con-way and FedEx Freight) have announced significant pay increases just as hundreds of workers across the U.S. are approaching our local Unions seeking representation,” Tyson Johnson said. “The unfulfilled promises that have been made to drivers and dockworkers over the past decade are coming back to haunt management. Workers now realize the only way to achieve meaningful change in the workplace is to get it in writing in a binding contract.”
492 Election Results 2017
As most of you know, there was an election held today for your Local 492 Union Officers. There were a total of 515 ballots counted. Thank you to all of you that took the time to mail in your ballots. The results can be found below.
Walter R. Maestas 393
Robert Kozlowski 114
Mike Butler 427
Richard Martinez 385
Mark Sanchez 110
Trey White 432
Joseph Carrillo 414
Andrew Palmer 409
Aaron Powell 397
Penny Hicks 115
UPS-Teamster Western Negotiations Update
The Western Region Supplemental Agreement Negotiating Committee began negotiations with UPS. IBT Package Division Western Region Director and Negotiating Committee Chair Andy Marshall and the Western Region Negotiating Committee representing all 11 Western States, began the process of securing a quality contract for our Members.
The Western Region Supplemental Agreement has some of the strongest language in the nation. "The Company needs to adhere to the language that we currently have", states Andy Marshall. The Western Region Negotiating Committee has successfully demanded that a stenographer be present for the meetings to memorialize both the Union’s and the Company's understanding, interpretation and application of the current contractual language and any newly negotiated language. “The first order of business needs to be clarifying what our existing language means to both sides and how it will be applied, prior to exchanging proposals on any newly negotiated language" said Andy Marshall.
The pace of these meetings were slow, contentious and deliberate. However, prior to concluding the first negotiating session the parties did exchange their initial proposals. After reviewing the Company's initial proposals, the Western Region Negotiating Committee surmised the direction the Company has charted and it’s clear that the Company is hoping to remove many of the critically important protections currently contained in the Western Supplemental Agreement.
The Western Region Negotiating Committee will be scheduling additional negotiation dates in the beginning of 2018. They will continue to fight hard, and bargain in good faith to deliver a superior contract for our Members which not only protects our current language, benefits and wages, but delivers improvements as well.