Saturday, October 25, 2008


Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa will be visiting Teamster worksites around the Philadelphia area on October 27-28 to help get out the vote for Sen. Barack Obama in this crucial presidential election.

Hoffa will meet with members at their job sites, discussing important issues affecting their lives and their families, including the country's financial crisis, the job-killing trade policies backed by Sen. John McCain, the failing Bush-McCain economy and affordable health care.

WHO: Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa
Teamster members

WHAT: Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa visiting with members across the Philadelphia metro area to get out the vote for Sen. Barack Obama

Monday, October 27, 2008

Tuesday, October 28, 2008, 6:00 a.m.
Food Distribution Warehouses
3400 South Lawrence St.
Philadelphia, PA

Thursday, October 23, 2008

UPS CEO Says US Economic Recovery May Not Emerge Until 2010

The top executive at United Parcel Service Inc. said Thursday that a U.S. economic recovery may not emerge until 2010, a more pessimistic outlook than many other business leaders have.

The company said it suffered "precipitous declines" in volume of its higher- margin next-day delivery products during September. Fourth-quarter volume in the U.S. is expected to be 4% lower.

The freight sector is regarded as a leading indicator of economic activity. Like smaller rival FedEx Corp., UPS has suffered a sharp decline in its domestic package and document business, partly countered by international growth.

"Consensus GDP and [industrial production] growth keep getting lower," Chairman and Chief Executive Scott Davis said on a conference call with analysts.

Davis said the prospects for a U.S. recovery were "being pushed further into 2009," and may not emerge until 2010, with weakness continuing to emerge in international markets. Many European economies are on the "brink of recession," while Asian markets are also slowing.

His comments came as UPS beat analysts' expectations with net income of $970 million, or 96 cents a share, for the third quarter. That compares with $1.08 billion, or $1.02 a share, a year earlier, including $46 million in restructuring charges. Analysts estimated on average earnings of 89 cents a share in the latest quarter.

Shares closed down 8.5% at $46.39 Wednesday and rose 2.8% to $47.70 in pre- market trading.

YRC earnings, revenue decline

YRC Worldwide Inc. earnings and revenue fell during the third quarter as the economic slowdown continued to take a toll.

The Overland Park-based trucking company on Thursday reported third-quarter earnings of $36.6 million, or 63 cents a share, down 10 percent from earnings of $40.7 million, or 70 cents a share, during the same quarter a year before.

Revenue was $2.38 billion for the quarter, down 6 percent from $2.46 billion in the third quarter of 2007.

The results don’t include potential non-cash writedowns based on tests YRC is doing, the release said.

“Throughout the third quarter, the operating environment progressively weakened, resulting in lower-than-expected volumes and more competitive pricing,” YRC CEO Bill Zollars said in the release. “Although the economy slowed more than we expected during the quarter, we still generated solid free cash flow and paid down debt, in addition to removing significant cost from our business.”

Earnings beat analyst estimates. Nine analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call reported a consensus estimate for a loss of 8 cents a share for the quarter. Six analysts reported a consensus revenue estimate of $2.34 billion for the quarter.

YRC is focused on adjusting to a weak economy while maintaining service quality, Zollars said in the release. The company continues to integrate its Yellow and Roadway divisions and hopes to improve operating income by at least $200 million by the end of 2009.

YRC didn’t provide specific earnings guidance for the fourth quarter because of economic uncertainty but said it expects to reduce debt by at least $100 million during the quarter, which would bring debt reduction of $150 million for the year and keep its leverage ratio in compliance with requirements. For the third quarter, the leverage ratio was 3.18 times against a limit of 3.75 times.

YRC said in an Oct. 8 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that because of its current market capitalization and current economic conditions, it may face a goodwill and trade name impairment for its National Transportation division, trade name impairment for its Regional Transportation division and goodwill impairment for its YRC Logistics division.

YRC said in the filing that it was conducting tests of the assumptions and expected to include any write-downs when reporting its third-quarter financials. Impairments aren’t included in leverage ratio calculations.

In January, YRC reported one-time goodwill impairment charges of $782 million in the fourth quarter, stemming mostly from a drop in the estimated value of the former USF Corp. companies, which YRC bought for $1.5 billion in 2005. They constitute most of the Regional Transportation unit.

McCain-faced Grim Reapers march to support Obama

Several people dressed as the Grim Reaper wearing a mask of Republican presidential candidate John McCain walked with union members Wednesday to Town Square to support Barack Obama, the Democratic nominee for president.

"Obama talks about policies where we actually build new jobs here and build things here," said Grant Williams, with Change to Win, a coalition of unions backing Obama.

Williams and others said McCain's policies match those of President Bush, which they said have failed the country and the American worker.

"Obama is more concerned about the average worker where McCain is more concerned about major international corporations," Williams said.

The group began its march at the Carpenter's Union hall just down the street from Town Square. About 18 people participated holding signs and chanting "John McCain, more of the same." Three people were dressed as Grim Reaper with the McCain mask.

The march was dubbed the "Jobs Funeral March" with McCain Job Grim Reapers ready to take away more American jobs the same way Bush has, Williams said.

Williams said Bush's policies, which McCain supports, have cost Ohio 280,000 jobs and the loss of more than 1,000 businesses in the past eight years.

"When you give these corporations a tax break to move jobs to China, what are they going to do? Move their jobs to China. We need a policy that encourages jobs right here in America," Williams said.

George Shafer, a 27-year employee of Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. in Findlay, said his company recently announced it would close a plant and Findlay was one of four on the list of possibilities. He said that is a direct result of policies from the Bush administration that McCain supports.

Paul Beard with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, said the country cannot survive any longer under policies of the current administration, which McCain strongly supports.

"The quality of life for the American worker has dropped tremendously over the last eight years. I can recall a time when the American worker lived well and a good life and could send their children to college. Those days are behind us," he said

FedEx says IRS drops tax assessment, $319 mln fine

Package delivery company FedEx Corp said in a regulatory filing on Wednesday that the U.S. Internal Revenue Service has dropped a tax assessment against it for 2002, plus $319 million in penalties.

The Memphis-based company said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that the IRS had withdrawn the tentative assessment related to the classification of independent contracts at FedEx unit FedEx Ground.

The company said the IRS is continuing an employment tax audit of FedEx Ground for the 2002 calendar year.

"We are engaged in discussions with the IRS audit team regarding this matter," the company said in the filing. "We continue to believe that FedEx Ground's owner-operators are independent contractors and that no loss is probable in this matter."

FedEx said in a filing last December that the federal tax authority had "tentatively concluded" that the 15,000 independent contractors FedEx Ground uses as drivers should be reclassified as employees.

FedEx said at that point that it aimed to "vigorously defend" its position.
The use of independent contractors at FedEx Ground allows FedEx to save money and compete with its main rival, Atlanta-based United Parcel Service Inc, whose drivers are unionized and represented by the Teamsters.

But that cost-saving model has come under attack from a number of different directions, including attempts by the Teamsters union to organize FedEx Ground workers and lawsuits in more than 30 U.S. states brought by some current and former FedEx Ground drivers.

Opponents of the FedEx Ground contractor model allege the level of control the company exercises over their work should qualify them as employees and entitle them the benefits that go with that status.

FedEx has always denied such claims, saying that its contractors are independent entrepreneurs and not employees.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


The head of the Teamsters said the Republicans’ name-calling is ‘desperate.’

Rudy Giuliani, former New York City mayor and one-time presidential candidate, is the latest Republican to use the word “socialist” when talking about Barack Obama, the Democratic presidential nominee.

“I don’t care whether you’re a Republican, a Democrat, a liberal or a conservative — or if you’re almost anything except maybe a socialist. I don’t see that you really have a choice,” Giuliani said Tuesday about the choice for president between Obama and Republican John McCain.

Giuliani told a crowd of about 250 packed into the Mahoning County Republican Party headquarters that Obama wants a “distribution of wealth,” specifically mentioning that it’s an idea espoused by 19th-century socialist Karl Marx.

When asked later by The Vindicator if he believed Obama was a socialist, Giuliani said he didn’t.

“He does embrace some views that are socialist such as the distribution of wealth,” Giuliani said of Obama. “... That doesn’t make him a socialist or a Marxist. It means he embraces one of those views.” Full Story.......

Arkansas Best Corporation Announces Third Quarter 2008 Results

Arkansas Best Corporation today announced third quarter 2008 net income of $15.4 million, or $0.61 per diluted common share, compared to third quarter 2007 net income of $18.9 million, or $0.75 per diluted common share. Arkansas Best's third quarter 2008 revenue was $495.8 million, compared to third quarter 2007 revenue of $486.0 million. "During a volatile and uncertain period in domestic and worldwide financial markets, Arkansas Best Corporation remains a stable, progressive company in a strong financial position," said Robert A. Davidson, Arkansas Best President and Chief Executive Officer.

ABF Freight System, Inc., the company's largest subsidiary, had third quarter 2008 revenue of $476.3 million, essentially the same, on a per-day basis, as revenue in the third quarter of 2007. Third quarter 2008 operating income at ABF was $25.2 million compared to $28.5 million during the third quarter of 2007. ABF's third quarter 2008 operating ratio was 94.7% versus an operating ratio of 93.9% in the third quarter of 2007. "The increase in ABF's third quarter operating ratio reflected the effects of a deteriorating freight environment," said Mr. Davidson. "However, ABF's traditional focus on controlling costs and providing increased value to its customers helped reduce the margin erosion that would be expected during a period of economic decline," said Mr. Davidson.

"Compared to unusually high costs in the third quarter of last year, workers' compensation claims experience had a favorable impact of 120 basis points on ABF's third quarter 2008 operating ratio," said Mr. Davidson. "On a year-to-date basis, workers' compensation costs continue to be well below ABF's ten-year historical average and had a favorable impact of 60 basis points on the operating ratio so far this year."

ABF's third quarter 2008 total weight per day decreased by 5.1% versus last year. "In the first half of the year, ABF's freight tonnage seemed to stabilize compared to 2007. However, during this year's third quarter, tonnage levels decelerated for each month of the quarter as the freight environment weakened further," said Mr. Davidson.

Near the end of the third quarter, ABF announced additional service improvements in its Regional Performance Model (RPM(R)) that further reduced transit times in over 24,000 lanes. Since the inception of its regional initiative, ABF has improved service in over 33,000 station-to-station lanes representing more than 40% of its North American network. These service enhancements allow ABF to provide comprehensive and reliable service within the next-day and second-day LTL market. "This dramatic expansion of our regional service, coupled with ABF's best-in-class long-haul capabilities, allows one carrier to provide full North American coverage with the cargo care, web visibility, competitive costs, reliable transit times and personal attention that customers require to support their own businesses," said Mr. Davidson.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

ABF Freight settles discrimination claims

ABF Freight System Inc. in Dallas has agreed to pay $300,000 to 778 African-American, Hispanic and female applicants who were rejected when applying for checker casual jobs, which are essentially dock worker positions within the company.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs investigated the claims and found the Fort Smith, Ark.-based freight company responsible for discriminatory hiring practices against African-Americans, Hispanics and females who applied for jobs at the Dallas facility during the period May 3, 2004 through April 30, 2007.

Cases of discriminatory hiring practices against females were alleged up until April of last year, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Based on the agreement, ABF will pay affected class members $300,000 in back pay and interest, while also offering 24 checker casual positions to class members and taking part in thorough self-monitoring measures in the company’s hiring practices.

ABF Freight System was not immediately available for comment on Tuesday

American Trucking Associations Announces Finalists for 2009-2010 America's Road Team

The American Trucking Associations today named 36 professional truck drivers as finalists in the selection process to become Captains on the 2009-2010 America's Road Team. America's Road Team, a group of professional drivers with superior safety records, was created in 1986 to represent the trucking industry and is sponsored by Volvo Trucks North America.

The 36 professional truck drivers will now move on to the final round of the selection process, which will be held Jan. 11-13, 2009 at the ATA headquarters in Arlington, Va. A panel of trucking industry officials and trucking news media will judge the contestants on their knowledge of the trucking industry, dedication to safety, ability to communicate trucking's messages and overall safe driving record.

The three-day competition will culminate with a new team of America's Road Team Captains receiving the signature Road Team blazer. The Captains then begin their two-year term working to share the industry's message of safety, professionalism and essentiality with the motoring public, news media, civic organizations, legislators and even fellow drivers across the nation.

"America's Road Team represents the best of the best," said ATA President and CEO Bill Graves. "The 36 professional drivers selected as finalists all have impressive driving records, share a passion for safety and are engaged in their communities. We are honored to have them participate in this prestigious selection process."

To be nominated to serve as a Road Team Captain, a driver must be employed as either a company driver for an ATA member motor carrier or as an owner-operator leased to an ATA member. Each nominee should have an excellent safety record, and should demonstrate an ability to communicate his or her commitment to safety, courtesy and professionalism.

"These candidates represent the dedication to safety that is at the heart of the trucking industry," said Scott Kress, senior vice president - sales & marketing, Volvo Trucks North America. "Volvo is proud to recognize their efforts in making our nation's highways safer, and promoting the positive image of professional truck drivers. We also applaud their employers, who demonstrate their commitment to safety and industry image by supporting the large investment of time required to be an America's Road Team Captain."

2009-2010 America's Road Team Finalists


Julian Alexander, Sr. Roadway Richton Park, IL
Ernie Arnote Con-way Freight Kansas City, KS
Willie Atkinson Con-way Freight Florence, SC
Roger Bast Yellow Transportation Lincoln, NE
Mark Bigalk FedEx Ground White Bear Lake, MN
Travis Boardman FedEx Ground Salisbury, MD
Bobby Brown UPS Freight Ft. Worth, TX
Gerald Charron Con-way Freight Danville, VT
Ron Coles USF Reddaway Kuna, ID
Tim Dean Werner Enterprises Griswold, IA
Rich Ewing Yellow Transportation Bellingham, WA
John Foran United Parcel Service Saint Albans, VT
Danny Fuller Con-way Freight Jonesboro, AR
James Gallagher Roadway Williamsville, NY
James Galloway Yellow Transportation Centerville, UT
Paul Gattin ABF Freight System Benton, AR
Steve Gilbert UPS Freight Sparks, NV
Mike Gilstrap FedEx Ground Independence, KS
Ronald Hawkins, Jr. K-Limited Carrier Ltd. Perrysburg, OH
Mark Hassemer Yellow Transportation Whitelaw, WI
David Herring Old Dominion Freight Lines Trinity, NC
Barry Holland UPS Freight Hurlock, MD
Edward Hosegood Publix Super Markets, Inc. Lakeland, FL
Keith Johnson Roadway Eatonville, WA
Gary Leu Wal-Mart Transportation Shelbina, MO
Perry Mecum FedEx Ground Huntersville, NC
Greg Nauertz Roadway Peoria, AZ
Kurt Pedersen Con-way Freight Surprise, AZ
Ronald Raney UPS Freight Grimes, IA
J.W. Ray Werner Enterprises Omaha, NE
Donald Robinson Roadway Uniontown, OH
Wendell "Al" Russell Roadway Cascade Locks, OR
Ben Saiz ABF Freight System Estancia, NM
Frank Silio Covenant Transport Miami, FL
Jeffrey Thompson FedEx Freight Olathe, KS
Ronald VanBibber Roadway South Jordan, UT