Sunday, January 14, 2018

ACTION ALERT: Tell the U.S. Senate to Protect American Workers’ Pensions

It is vital that Congress address the nation’s growing pension funding crisis.

The BCTGM believes that a legislative solution which provides pension plans with the funding necessary for long-term solvency without forcing trustees to reduce participants’ hard-earned pension benefits would be an important first step.

After careful and comprehensive analysis, the BCTGM has determined that the Butch Lewis Act of 2017 (S.2147) is the most effective legislative proposal to address the pension crisis.

Click here to email your U.S. Senators urging them to support this important legislation.

The legislation, sponsored by Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, who is always a champion for workers and retirees, provides an innovative way to strengthen pension plans and avoid retiree benefit reductions. The centerpiece of the legislation is long-term, low-interest loans that would be used to fully pay the benefits of retirees.

Congress must act now to protect against pension benefit cuts! Email your Senators TODAY! 

ABF Freight Announces 2018 Load Team

 ABF Freight has named its 2018 Load Team, an elite group of freight-handling professionals from service centers throughout its North American network.

The 2018 ABF Freight Load Team members and their service centers are: Tony Abitia, Pico Rivera, California; Chester Barr, Atlanta, Georgia; Brock Brogdon, Dallas, Texas; David Brol Juarez, Aurora, Illinois; Mark Buroker, Dayton, Ohio; Eli Carbonell, Miami, Florida; Don Carrick, Winston-Salem, North Carolina; Rob Hayes, Minneapolis, Minnesota; Stewart Hennion, Allentown, Pennsylvania; Mike Kennedy, Carlisle, Pennsylvania; Steve Labonte, Enfield, Connecticut; Jim Lewis, South Chicago, Illinois; Jon Lucas, Portland, Oregon; Ben Mascaro, Salt Lake City, Utah; Dean McFarland, Tulsa, Oklahoma; Brian Neuner, Louisville, Kentucky; Jason Patti, Albuquerque, New Mexico; Dan Peoples, Kansas City, Missouri; and Kevin Teague, Chattanooga, Tennessee.

“Our Load Team members are an excellent representation of what makes us an industry leader in cargo handling,” said Andy Upchurch, ABF Freight vice president – Service Center Operations. “ABF employees, including our Load Team members, are known for providing superior customer service that includes a daily commitment to deliver freight damage-free and on time, along with a great experience for our customers.”

ABF Freight Load Team members are chosen based on their safety records, their involvement in the Quality Process, their personal integrity and their ability to load trailers in an optimal fashion. ABF Freight established its Load Team in 1994 to honor outstanding performance and draw upon dock employees’ expertise regarding dock procedures, training and equipment.

Teamsters, ABF Address Non-Economic Issues As Negotiations Kick-Off

The Teamsters National Freight Industry Negotiating Committee met with ABF this week to start negotiations for a new ABF National Master Freight Agreement (NMFA) that would take the place of the current agreement which is set to expire on March 31.

The meetings this week focused primarily on language issues but ABF continues to raise claims that its employee and operating costs are too high. TNFINC however, has made clear that the members are not interested in a concessionary contract.

The parties spent this week trying to resolve some of the less controversial issues.

“Rather than get bogged down right off the bat in what could easily result in a collision, we spent this week trying to resolve some of the less contro- versial issues and made progress in those areas,” said Ernie Soehl, Director of the Teamsters National Freight Division and Co-Chairman of TNFINC.

The parties have tentatively agreed on a number of national language articles, including with regard to: Scope of the Agreement; Recognition; Union Shop and Checkoff; Stewards; Protection of Rights; Loss or Damage; Bonds and Insurance; Uniforms; Passengers; Military Leave; Pay Period; Other Services; Posting; Union Activities; Owner Operators; Separation of Employment; Inspection

Privileges and Employer and Employee Identification; Emergency Reopening; Sympathetic Action; Jurisdictional Disputes; Garnishments; and Non- Discrimination. Most of these tentatively agreed upon articles simply remain unchanged from the current contract but according to Soehl, it made sense to initially “pick the low hanging fruit” and get non-controversial items out of the way.

“We remain committed to getting the best possible agreement for our members,” Soehl said.

The parties will reconvene on January 29 to resume negotiations.

Teamsters Union Wins $1 Million Settlement on Behalf of Drivers at YRC Freight

Company Exceeded Permissible Amount of Freight That Can Be Diverted

The Teamsters Union has won a $1 million settlement on behalf of YRC Freight’s road drivers.

The collective bargaining agreement with YRC Freight limits the amount of over-the-road freight that can be put on trains or hauled by non-bargaining unit personnel. The Teamsters Union monitors those amounts. After reviewing the situation and convening a meeting of the committee that monitors compliance, it was determined that the company had in fact exceeded the permissible amounts.

“Our YRC members have an agreement that strongly protects bargaining unit work and work opportunities and the company acknowledged that it diverted more freight than what is allowed,” said Ernie Soehl, Director of the Teamsters National Freight Division. “We will always seek to hold employers accountable by making sure they abide by our contracts and agreements.”

After reviewing the records, it was clear that a substantial amount of the diverted freight—carried mostly on rail—was the direct result of extraordinary service and terminal interruptions resulting from hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The committee determined that under the unique circumstances of the matter the company should not be penalized for these “Acts of God.”   Nevertheless, the committee determined that the company still exceeded the maximum road miles that could be hauled on rails and ordered it to pay $1,003,930.00.

YRC Freight will be contacting Teamster local unions to review the lists of drivers who are eligible for the payment.