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.”
To continue reading more about the Con-way/XPO Logistics Teamster efforts and the history of XPO/Con-way’s blatant union busting/law breaking campaign, Click Here.