Thursday, December 21, 2017

UPS Pre-Orders 125 Tesla Electric Trucks

UPS has announced it has placed a reservation for 125 of Tesla’s new fully-electric Semi tractors. The new tractors will join UPS’s extensive alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicle fleet, comprised of trucks and tractors propelled by electricity, natural gas, propane and other non-traditional fuels.

“For more than a century, UPS has led the industry in testing and implementing new technologies for more efficient fleet operations. We look forward to expanding further our commitment to fleet excellence with Tesla,” said Juan Perez, chief information and engineering officer. “These groundbreaking electric tractors are poised to usher in a new era in improved safety, reduced environmental impact, and reduced cost of ownership.”

UPS has provided Tesla real-world UPS trucking lane information as part of the company’s evaluation of the vehicle’s expected performance for the UPS duty cycle. UPS frequently partners with suppliers of emerging vehicle technologies to help them develop solutions that prove ready for stringent UPS use-cases.

Tesla’s Semi tractor claims up to 500 miles range on a single charge, an unparalleled cabin experience for drivers, enhanced on-road safety and significantly reduced long-term cost of ownership. Safety features include: automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, automated lane guidance, and brake-by-wire and steer-by-wire with redundancy. Tesla’s driver-assistance features have been found by the U.S. government to reduce crash rates by 40%. Tesla expects to begin production of the vehicles in 2019 and UPS will be among the first companies to put the vehicles into use.

UPS’s preorder of Tesla vehicles complements and advances the company’s overall commitment to reduce its absolute greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from global ground operations 12 percent by 2025, a goal developed using a methodology approved by the Science Based Targets initiative.

Teamsters, ABF Kick Off National Contract Negotiations

Union, Company Exchange Initial National Contract Proposals

The Teamsters National Freight Industry Negotiating Committee (TNFINC) exchanged initial national contract proposals with ABF yesterday, kicking off national negotiations that will continue next month.

“We exchanged initial contract proposals and we will review the documents as we prepare for negotiations to begin in earnest next month,” said Ernie Soehl, Director of the Teamsters National Freight Division and Co-Chairman of TNFINC.

“I want to thank our ABF members for helping us get to this point with the contract by submitting member surveys. These negotiations will be difficult but our committee is prepared to make sure our members’ priorities are fully addressed in negotiations.”

The current ABF—National Master Freight Agreement runs through March 31, 2018 and covers more than 8,000 members.

Following today’s initial contract proposal exchange, negotiations will take place on January 8.  Multiple weeks have been set aside for bargaining.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Hoffa, Teamsters Call for Quick Action on Pension Reform

Mike Walden knows what’s at stake for Teamster retirees and workers trying to hold onto their hard-earned nest eggs. The former truck driver and Local 24 retiree recognized years ago that pensions like the one he currently receives from the Central States Pension Fund were in dire straits, so he got involved in trying to save them.

He noted many seniors and retirees already face significant challenges trying to make ends meet. Walden, who is President of the National United Committee to Protect Pensions and Chairman of the Northeast Ohio Committee to Protect Pensions, says any cut in pensions would devastate their well-being and force many out of their homes and into a life that at their advanced age they cannot handle.

“Many of us are old, we can’t go back to work because we’ve had joint replacements or some of us have lost our eyesight. We have medications that wouldn’t allow us to drive the trucks or work in warehouses like we used to,” he said. “Many can’t afford their medications if you reduce their pensions. They’ll die.”

Walden spoke of those challenges during a Capitol Hill press conference Wednesday, where he joined Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), bill sponsor Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and others in urging the enactment of a Teamster-backed multi-employer pension reform legislation.

Hoffa said it is essential that the measure be included as part of federal spending bill facing a deadline for passage next week. He argued that Teamster members and other workers deserve quick action that protects their pensions.

“We are in the stretch right here,” he said. “We really need to get to work and get out and talk to our congressmen, because they really respond to that. We’ve got to put the pressure on them. There is no ‘no’ on this. Whether you are a Democrat, Republican or independent, it shouldn’t matter. This is about Americans, about the people who played by the rules and worked hard every day.”

The “Butch Lewis Act of 2017,” introduced by Brown and Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.) last month, would provide a path to fixing the country’s growing pension crisis by providing the financial support the plans need to avoid insolvency.

It would create a new agency, the Pension Rehabilitation Administration (PRA), to provide loans to “critical and declining” multi-employer pension funds. The loan terms will require plans to make interest payments for 29 years with final interest and principal repayment due in year 30.

Pelosi said workers deserve a better future, and that comes with a secure retirement this legislation provides. “This is central to America’s working families,” she said. “You worked for it, you deserved it, you earned it, it’s a promise, and it will be kept.”

Share the Road Drivers Deliver Wreaths to Arlington Cemetery

American Trucking Associations and ATA’s Share the Road Highway Safety Program celebrated the arrival of the Wreaths Across America convoy at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., Dec. 16.

“The trucking industry is one of the most patriotic industries in the country, full of veterans, and we are honored to be able to pay our respects to those who sacrificed for this country and our freedom,” said ATA President Chris Spear. “The Share the Road Program is grateful for this opportunity to salute the fallen heroes of America and will continue to support Wreaths Across America.”

Share the Road professional truck drivers Ralph Garcia of ABF Freight System Inc., and UPS Freight’s Henry Bruster drove the program’s Mack truck from the wreath loading dock in Maine to Arlington, making many stops on the route to emphasize the importance of Wreaths Across America and teaching students the value of our freedoms.

“It is a great honor to be a part of this journey again and honor the great men and women who protected this country with their lives,” Garcia said. “Having the opportunity to travel down the East Coast through patriotic towns and communities and being able to see all the support the nation shows to our veterans is an amazing experience for me.”

This year, Wreaths Across America delivered more than one million wreaths to veterans’ graves across the globe.

“Wreaths Across America gives us a special chance to reflect on what we stand for as a nation and unite behind our veterans,” Bruster said. “Being both a veteran and a truck driver, this trip was very meaningful to me and it was a great honor to represent my fellow military servicemen and servicewomen.”

Local 710 YRC Road Driver Roy Lincoln Reaches 5-Million Accident-Free Miles Driven

Illinois Teamster Honored for Important Accomplishment, Commitment to Safety

In an era where distracted driving constantly threatens safety on the roads, it is always an important accomplishment when our Teamster brothers and sisters reach a milestone for safe driving. Roy Lincoln, a 47-year road driver out of YRC Freight in Chicago Heights, Ill. has gone above and beyond in his own safe driving accomplishment: 5-million accident-free miles driven.

To put that number into perspective, that’s like driving to the moon and back more than ten times. Lincoln is only the third driver in the entire YRC organization to reach this milestone.

“Roy is a fantastic role model to all of our 710 drivers, particularly the new drivers just starting out,” said Mike Cales, Secretary-Treasurer Elect of Local 710. “He definitely knows the ropes and is always happy to help drivers on the path to success. His dedication to safety is truly an inspiration, and I am proud to call him my brother.”

Lincoln was honored at a ceremony yesterday at the terminal surrounded by fellow Teamsters and supporters. Leaders from YRC spoke to Roy’s achievement, along with IBT Central Region Freight Coordinator Michael Hienton, who presented a letter and signed tractor-trailer model from General President James P. Hoffa.

“I know your job is demanding, and more importantly, I know that without truckers, America stops,” wrote Hoffa. “Your accomplishment is particularly impressive given how few have matched this driving milestone. This excellence demonstrates your commitment to your craft.”

In honor of reaching this milestone, one car seat was donated to the Illinois State Police Department for every 100,000 miles Lincoln has driven – That means 50 families in the state will receive a car seat on his behalf.

Lincoln is joined by three more drivers at the Chicago Heights barn who have reached 4-million accident-free miles: Jim Banner, Stanley Collins, and Rich Allee, who is a close friend of Lincoln’s. There are only 28 drivers throughout the YRC organization that have reached the 4-million milestone.

Lincoln credits his inspiration to his father, who was a 4-million mile safe driver himself. When asked how many more years he plans on driving, Lincoln smiled and said, “Until I can’t pass the physical.”

YRC Worldwide Announces James Welch Intends to Retire in July 2018

Darren Hawkins to be named President and Chief Operating Officer of YRCW

TJ O'Connor to be named President of YRC Freight

Bob Stone to be named President of Reddaway

YRC Worldwide Inc. announced that James Welch, the company's CEO, has informed the Board of Directors of his intention to retire from the company July 31, 2018.  Welch intends to remain CEO of YRC Worldwide until that date.

Effective January 1, 2018, YRC Freight President Darren Hawkins will assume the transitional role of President and Chief Operating Officer of YRC Worldwide.  In this newly created role, Hawkins will oversee YRC Freight, Holland, Reddaway and New Penn in addition to other responsibilities.  At the regularly scheduled July 2018 board meeting, the Board of Directors intends to name Hawkins as the successor to Welch as CEO of YRCW.  Hawkins will report to Welch during the transition.

In addition, effective January 1, 2018, Reddaway President TJ O'Connor will become President of YRC Freight, and Bob Stone, currently Vice President of Operations at Reddaway, will become President of that company.

"During his tenure, James assembled a strong team of leaders at YRCW, YRC Freight, Holland, Reddaway and New Penn and worked to change the trajectory of the company, paving the way for significant investment in technology and equipment," stated Jim Hoffman, Chairman of the YRC Worldwide Board of Directors.  "The board and I appreciate his leadership and his commitment to stay and work with Darren over the upcoming transition period.  We wish James the very best; he has our utmost respect for all he has done to serve our customers, stakeholders and employees," Hoffman said.

"I believe this is the right time for YRCW and me to make the transition," Welch stated.  "I have gotten to know personally so many of the employees who work daily to serve our customers safely.  There's more work to be done but I am proud of what has been accomplished.  I am especially proud of Darren and look forward to working with him during the transition.  He is a true leader and his vast experience in the LTL industry has prepared him well to be CEO," said Welch.