Friday, June 28, 2013

ABF Teamster Employees Ratify Five-Year National Labor Agreement

Majority of contract supplements also ratified
Company expects remaining supplements to be resolved and re-voted in near term

Arkansas Best Corporation reported that its ABF Freight System, Inc., employees represented by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, have ratified ABF’s national collective bargaining agreement for the next five years, a critical step in helping return ABF to its historic profitability.

A majority of the supplements to the ABF National Master Freight Agreement also passed. The remaining supplemental agreements that require additional action cover various local work rule and other technical items and do not affect the major economic terms that are covered by the now-ratified ABF NMFA. Voter turnout was strong, with more than 6,100 ballots cast and counted.

“We are very pleased that our Teamster employees have ratified the ABF NMFA, which is a critical step to putting ABF back on the path to profitability while still preserving the best-paying jobs and benefits in the industry,” said ABF Freight System President and Chief Executive Officer Roy Slagle. “We know this was a difficult decision for our union workforce, following many sacrifices made in recent years by our non-union employees, and we look forward to resolving the remaining supplements in the near term.”

Judy R. McReynolds, Arkansas Best President and Chief Executive Officer, added that the new contract at ABF, once concluded, is just one of many corporate initiatives underway to deliver superior value to customers and shareholders through an expanding array of logistics and transportation solutions.

“As we near the end of this contract negotiation process, we are looking forward not only to a more efficient, profitable ABF but also to continued strong contributions from our non-asset-based, emerging businesses,” McReynolds said. “With the addition of premium logistics provider Panther Expedited Services a year ago and continued investments in technology and people, our emerging businesses are all poised for additional revenue growth and greater cross-selling opportunities both within our existing ABF customer base and throughout the broader transportation marketplace.”


Union Will Talk To Members In Areas Where Supplements Were Rejected

Teamsters employed at ABF Freight System, Inc. have voted to approve the national master portion of the ABF National Master Freight Agreement as well as 21 of the 27 supplements. Some local/area supplemental agreements, however, were rejected and issues in those areas must be addressed before the national agreement can be implemented.

“We understand the sacrifices our ABF members are making,” said Gordon Sweeton, Co-Chairman of the National ABF Negotiating Committee (TNFINC). “We will work on obtaining approval of those supplements that were not approved.”

The Teamster negotiating committees responsible for the supplements that were not approved by a majority of voting members will be talking with the members in those areas. In the meantime, the Teamsters Union will schedule meetings to engage the company in further negotiations to achieve our members’ objectives.

“Once ratified, the national contract will protect our members’ health, welfare and pension benefits and will also give the company the ability to compete in a very tough trucking environment, which is good for ABF and the long-term job security of our members,” Sweeton said.

The contract calls for a 7 percent wage reduction, but the reduction will be entirely recouped by the fifth year of the five-year contract.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

UPS Freight Agreement Not Accepted By Members

Members at UPS Freight have voted to reject their Tentative Agreement. To see the results of the UPS Freight vote, click here.

Four Holland Professional Drivers Win Division Titles and Head to National Truck Driving Championships

A total of four Holland professional drivers have won division titles at their individual state truck driving competitions to qualify for the 2013 National Truck Driving Championships. Our first driver to qualify for NTDC was Ohio 5-axle champion Russell Simpson on May 4 at the 2013 Ohio Truck Driving Championships. Two of our champions, Bruce Renton (straight truck division) and Jim Looks (tanker division) earned top honors June 7-8 at the 2013 Michigan State Truck Driving Championships. Bruce was also the honored recipient of the 2013 Rookie of the Year Award. Then, this past weekend our fourth state safety champion battled to triumph. Holland professional driver Marty Blandford won the 5-axle division at the June 21-22, 2013 Indiana State Truck Driving Championships. Team Holland also won the Team Trophy at the Indiana State Truck Driving Championships.

In order to qualify for these safety competitions, all four professional drivers had to drive the entire year prior without a single accident. Competitions include a written exam, pre-trip inspection, and a driven obstacle course. Composite scores are then used to measure driver performance and determine winners.

Russell Simpson, Holland city driver, has been driving professionally for 27 years and has been driving for Holland 21 years. Domiciled at our Columbus, Ohio service center, Russ has competed in state truck driving safety competitions since 2008 when he earned first place in 5-axle division and was named Ohio Rookie of the Year.

Operating out of our Holland Grand Rapids service center as a city driver and dockworker, Bruce Renton has been with Holland since April 2012 but has been in the transportation industry for 13 years. This is his first year taking part in truck driving competitions.

Jim Looks has been driving professionally for Holland for 18 years and operates as a linehaul driver out of the Holland Grand Rapids, Mich. service center. Looks has been competing in truck driving competitions since 2010. This year marks his first first-place finish.

Marty Blandford has been driving accident-free for Holland as a city driver since 1992 out of the Jeffersonville, Ind. service center. Marty has safety in his blood. He has competed in state competitions over the last 21 years racking up 9 first place wins, 4 second places, 2 third places and 1 fourth place. This year will be this safety champion's ninth trip to the National Truck Driving Championships (NTDC).

All four Holland state safety winners have now qualified to participate in the 2013 National Truck Driving Championships (NTDC) in Salt Lake City, August 20-24. The "Super Bowl of Safety," NTDC brings state champions together to compete against nearly 400 drivers for national titles in eight different classes of vehicles and for the overall title of National Grand Champion.

"The significance of truck driving competitions cannot be overstated," said Scott Ware, Holland President. "Aside from helping to hone driver safety skills and bringing pride to the company, these competitions work to promote a culture of safety and a dedication that is truly invaluable. We thank Russ, Jim, Bruce, and Marty for their commitment to safety and congratulate them for receiving the well deserved rewards for that commitment. Best of luck to our four state safety champions as they compete against the best of the best at the National Truck Driving Championships."