Teamsters Local Leaders OK ABF Freight Contract

Teamsters Local Leaders OK ABF Freight Contract

The leaders of about 160 Teamsters locals approved a multiyear contract with ABF Freight System that will cut wages 7 percent in the first year of the contract.

The tentative contract — announced by the union and the less-than-truckload carrier May 3 — also cuts paid time off by one week, but does not cut ABF pension contributions.

ABF's 7,500 Teamsters employees will vote to approve or reject the proposed contract. Ballots will be mailed to ABF Teamsters June 3 and must be returned by June 27.

ABF's troubles, including a $22.5 million first quarter loss, led the union to agree to the wage cut, said Gordon Sweeton, co-chairman of the Teamsters negotiating committee.

“Nobody ever wantsto see a pay cut, but in light of the company’s struggles and our desire to see the company survive, something needed to be done,” Sweeton said.

Wages would rise gradually over the last four years of the contract, eliminating the cut.

ABF Freight System was No. 6 in JOC’s ranking of the Top 25 LTL Carriers for 2012.