Gooses are golden

Gooses are golden

Copyright 2003, Traffic World, Inc.

It''s wrong to compare the trucking industry today with the IBT-dominated days of pre-1980, says Timothy P. Lynch, president and CEO of the Motor Freight Carriers Association, the umbrella group that represents the unionized LTL carriers in negotiations with the Teamsters.

Although he sits on the opposite side of the bargaining table from Hoffa every five years or so, Lynch says he admires Hoffa for what the IBT leader faces. "I think one of the tougher jobs in America today is running a union where your challenge is to certainly represent the best interests of your members but weighing that against the dynamic changes in the marketplace," Lynch said.

"Life is a lot different in the marketplace than 20 years ago. Trying to balance those interests is very, very hard. But it''s got to be done or the golden goose is going to be dead," Lynch said.

Under Lynch, the MFCA has forged a working relationship with the IBT and cooperates with the union on a number of mostly noneconomic interests - cooperation that would have been unheard of a generation or half-generation ago. "We fight but we also work on things together," said Lynch.

Lynch says pre-1980 trucking was "a very, very different time. You had a union that represented the overwhelming majority of people driving the trucks. It my mind it''s apples and oranges."