Teamsters authorize car hauler strike

| 5/28/2003

Teamster car haulers have voted to authorize a strike if the management of car-hauling companies and the union are not able to reach an agreement by May 31, the current agreement's expiration date, according to a statement from the Teamsters.

Ninety-seven percent of the union’s members voted in favor of the action. The potential strike includes only Teamster drivers who transport new motor vehicles to dealerships.

“The members have said, loudly and clearly, that they will not tolerate further delaying tactics on the part of the employers,” General President Jim Hoffa said in a statement. Hoffa also acts as chairman of the Teamsters National Automobile Transporters Negotiating Committee. “Management must recognize that its continued demand for concessions is a nonstarter.”

The Teamster statement said: “From Day One, the car-haul carriers have sought givebacks in health care and new-hire rates, while turning a deaf ear toward union proposals aimed at improving operating efficiencies, attracting new work and enhancing job security.”

To meet the May 31 contract deadline, the negotiating committee worked throughout the Memorial Day weekend. The negotiations have been complicated by a decision by the Teamster’s largest car-haul employer, Allied Automotive Group, to withdraw from the Employers Association and its insistence on separate negotiations.

 “No one wants a strike, but management’s continued intransigence has forced us to consider this as a very real possibility,” C.B. “Doc” Conder, co-chairman of the negotiating committee, said.

Hoffa said, “Our members must take the necessary steps to prepare their families should a job action become necessary.”