Teamsters, carriers, reach agreement

| 2/10/2003

The Teamsters Union and the Motor Freight Carriers Association announced Feb. 6 they reached a tentative agreement, avoiding a strike against several major trucking firms.

The agreement comes days after the Teamsters voted to authorize a strike against the companies. Union representatives said 95 percent of the members who voted favored authorizing a strike.

Talks between the union and the MFCA – anational group that represents unionized general freight carriers such as ABF Freight System, Roadway Express, Yellow Freight and USF Holland – broke down in late January over wages and benefits.

The two groups resumed negotiating Feb. 5, two days after the strike vote and one day before reaching the tentative accord.

In addition to resolving a number of wage and benefit issues, the new pact would prohibit the companies from subcontracting any work in the United States to a Mexican carrier, the Teamsters said.

Both sides seemed satisfied with the pact.

“This contract will provide a shot in the arm to American working families who have been faced with givebacks and concessions over the last year,” Jim Hoffa, president of the Teamsters, told reporters at a news conference.

“This is truly a win-win-win opportunity for our companies, our employees and our customers,” Tim Lynch, President and CEO of the MFCA, said in a statement.

The previous agreement between the groups was set to expire March 31. The new pact covers 65,000 members of the Teamsters Union. In addition, smaller carriers that traditionally adopt similar contracts employ another 20,000 Teamsters, the union said.