Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Teamsters Reach Agreements on Nearly All Freight Supplements

Union Negotiators Review ‘Complex’ Issues

December 6, 2007

Teamster negotiators announced today that they have reached tentative agreements on all but one of the freight supplements.

Meanwhile, National Master Freight Agreement (NMFA) talks resumed Wednesday, December 5. Teamster negotiators are reviewing complex proposals submitted by Trucking Management, Inc. (TMI) aimed at dealing with the employers’ declining revenues and market share.

TMI, the primary multi-employer bargaining arm of the unionized freight trucking industry, has introduced the proposals to address the challenges its employers are facing. The employers say they need to develop new services to compete and to stop the erosion of the unionized companies’ market share.

“The Teamsters are studying TMI’s proposals—these are very complex issues,” said Tyson Johnson, Director of the Teamsters National Freight Division who is Co-Chairman of the union’s National Negotiating Committee. “We are developing responses to the employers’ proposals. Our goal remains to make sure our members’ interests are protected. That means securing our members’ jobs and excellent benefits.”

The union and TMI are also involved in intense negotiations to resolve the issue of forced overtime, a key concern of members.

Meanwhile, after meeting daily since early October, union negotiators reached tentative agreements on all supplements this week.

“We have maintained and improved working conditions in the supplements,” Johnson said. “Making progress on the supplements has given us strong momentum as we resume national contract talks today. We are making significant progress toward reaching an agreement on the master contract sometime this month.”

About two-thirds of the shippers typically sign contracts by the end of the year to determine who their carriers will be for the following service period.

Johnson has asked all National Negotiating Committee members to prepare to negotiate over the next two weeks to work on the national contract.

“I appreciate our members’ support up to this point, and we will need more support as we make our final push during the next two weeks,” Johnson said.

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