ABF Freight System is waging a two-front campaign to cut its labor costs by negotiating with the Teamsters about contract concessions and lobbying Congress for legislation to ease the burden unionized companies face under multiemployer pension plans, the carrier’s CEO said.
“We’re continuing discussions with the Teamsters,” CEO Judy McReynolds told Dahlman Rose & Co.’s annual global transportation conference.
By The Numbers: Cass Freight Index.
YRC has won two rounds of concessions from the Teamsters as the less-than-truckload carrier struggles to stay afloat. Union members at rival ABF voted in May against a 15 percent wage cut and gain-sharing proposal aimed at leveling the field with YRC.
ABF, the country's fourth-largest LTL carrier, lost $99 million in 2009, compared with a $45 million profit in 2008. In the first half of this year the company had an operating loss of $39.4 million on revenue of $723.2 million.
McReynolds said ABF is frustrated by the failure of Congress to pass legislation to help companies involved in multiemployer pension plans to deal with pension costs of defunct companies that no longer are paying into a plan.
“Everybody seems to understand the issue and the unfairness with respect to our company and the others that are impacted,” she said. “We have to deal with the costs of people who never worked for us, which is sort of insane.”
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