plan to hold a strike authorization vote sometime in the next two
weeks after negotiations with the Motor Freight Carriers Association
stalled, the union announced in a statement this week.
The MFCA, a
national trade association representing unionized general freight
carriers such as Roadway and Yellow, and the Teamsters said in dueling
releases that the break in talks – which the MFCA described as a
“temporary recess” – was caused by differences over wages and benefits.
will be distributed the next two weeks, with results due Feb. 3.
The current contract between the carriers and the Teamsters expires
in pushing for a better wage package, pointed to significant increases
in quarterly profits reported by some less-than-truckload carriers
involved in the negotiations, Reuters news service reported.
For example, the news service said, Arkansas Best Tuesday reported
fourth-quarter 2002 earnings of $14.5 million, compared with $9.5
million for the same period in 2001.
MFCA stressed that any agreement reached between the carriers and
the union had to take into account the economic viability of the
agreement that puts these companies at risk in the highly competitive
trucking marketplace also puts at risk the very job security and
health care concerns identified by the Teamsters," Tim Lynch,
President and CEO of the Motor Freight Carriers Association, said
in a statement.
indicated no new negotiations are scheduled at this point.