Leaders from about 150 Teamster local unions that represent ABF members overwhelmingly approved the tentative ABF National Master Freight Agreement, paving the way for a vote by the members.
“In recent years our members have had to make tremendous sacrifices in order to maintain jobs and keep the unionized freight industry alive,” said Ernie Soehl, Director of the Teamsters National Freight Division and Co-Chairman of the Teamsters National Freight Industry Negotiating Committee. “This tentative agreement reverses the trend by providing our members with numerous improvements, including winning back the week of vacation they had to give up years ago.
“Our negotiating committee, which overwhelmingly endorsed the agreement, also negotiated annual wage increases,” Soehl said. “The committee also negotiated protections for our members involving purchased transportation and the tentative agreement provides for annual increases to health and welfare funds, among other improvements. There are no concessions. We strongly believe this contract protects our members and their families over the next five years.”
In addition to the many improvements, the union committee was able to defeat several attempted company takeaways, including demands for no wage increases, taking away holidays and overtime cuts.
“The union held its ground and made it clear we would never, ever accept concessions and that we needed to address our members’ priorities, both of which we were able to achieve,” Soehl said.
“We believe this tentative agreement improves the lives of our ABF members and their families while also making sure the company remains competitive so that our ABF members keep their jobs—the best jobs in the freight industry,” Soehl said. “Despite the many challenges we faced in negotiations, our committee remained united and focused and got the job done for our more than 8,000 members at ABF.”
Ballot materials will be mailed to members on April 19, votes are due by May 8 and will be counted on May 10.