It’s five down and two to go in the struggle to win approval of regional supplements crucial to ABF Freight System’s new national contract.
In a second round vote, Teamster employees at ABF Freight System approved five regional supplements to the new five-year national master agreement.
Two supplements, however, remain on the table, effectively blocking implementation of the new contract, which includes wage cuts sought by ABF.
The less-than-truckload carrier and union extended the current contract through Sept. 30 to continue talks over the two remaining regional supplements.
As the carrier and Teamsters move into the third round of talks and voting, the trucking company is struggling to rebuild profits decimated by the recession.
ABF lost $19.4 million last year and $8.5 million in the first six months of 2013, though the company reported a $4.9 million second-quarter profit.
The new five-year national contract, approved in June, cuts wages 7 percent but restores them gradually over the life of the contract and includes a profit-sharing bonus.
ABF argues those cuts are key to allowing the Fort Smith, Ark., company to reduce costs and become more competitive, strengthening profitability.
The supplements approved in a second round of balloting covered drivers and other workers in ABF’s central and southern regions and New York and New Jersey.
The two supplements that still must be approved are the Central Region Local Cartage agreement and the Western States Office Employees supplement.