Hoffa to Freight Teamsters: Quit Bothering Me

October 17, 2013: ABF Teamsters in the Central Region are voting on authorizing a strike, but it's a phony proposition. The International union has not put forth any issues or demands to strike for!

Instead, Hoffa and the Freight Division have simply denounced the Central Region members for voting No twice, and tried to divide other freight Teamsters against them.

The votes will be counted on October 29. The International union and ABF management plan to implement the 7 percent wage cut and other concessions at that time.

Meanwhile, YRC management is asking Hoffa for an extension to the concession contract. Hoffa's appointee to the YRC Board, Harry Wilson, is leading the charge for the company. No word yet on what the Hoffa administration will do.

Hoffa's administration has given up on freight and trucking, the backbone of Teamster power. We need to give up on them in the next IBT election, and rebuild Teamster power.

ABF Strike Vote: Hoffa Slaps Freight Teamsters Again

October 4, 2013: The new letter from the IBT Freight Division is the latest slap in the face to ABF Teamsters. The "blame the victim" letter attacks Central Region Cartage Teamsters for voting no, and threatens that if they vote to authorize a strike they will cause "the closure of the company and the loss of employment for all 7,000 plus Teamsters."

Those words are in bold type and underlined in the October 1 letter posted at time clocks and union boards around the Central Region.

There's not one word of the two-page letter about any problems brought on by management, about their decision to buy Panther, or about any legitimate membership concerns.

The strike vote is a sham. Since the union has not put forward any issues, what would a strike be over? Nothing!

The ballots will go out soon, and be counted by the end of October. The union extended the contract until October 29, so that must be their target date for implementation of the national contract, including the wage cut.

Hoffa's Freight Division long ago stopped representing Teamsters, listening to freight workers, or working to organize Teamster power in trucking.  Freight Teamsters voted against Hoffa in 2011 and will surely do so in bigger numbers in 2016.  And for Hoffa, politics trumps the future of union. 

That, more than another reason, is why the whole Hoffa-Hall administration needs to be retired. 

IBT to take Strike Authorization Vote at ABF

September 26, 2013: Yesterday the IBT Freight Division told local union officers that they will conduct a strike vote among ABF local cartage workers in the Central Region. Gordon Sweeton told local officers that ABF presented a "last, best, and final" offer for the Central Region, and the union has no choice but to conduct a strike vote, following the two earlier membership rejections.

Posing the vote as a strike authorization, rather than over a contract proposal, is designed to get the contract settled, because at this point members are more interested in contract improvements than in a strike.  Sweeton emphasized that vote for strike authorization would do serious damage to ABF and the IBT will strongly urge against authorization. The vote total in the second rejection was 716 No to 562 Yes.

Sweeton also reported that the Freight Division had OK'd ABF to haul 300 loads out of Michigan, to Chicago, by a nonunion operator. That work has already started.

Sweeton stated that he thinks they can get a settlement in another rejected supplement, covering the Western office Teamsters.

ABF Local-By-Local Contract Vote Results

UPDATED September 11, 2013: The largest supplement to the ABF agreement – the Central Region local cartage agreement – was rejected again, as was the Western Region office supplement. Updated Local-by-Local contract votes are posted here.

The other five supplements which were previously rejected were accepted in the second round of voting.

The IBT Constitution (Article XII, Section 2) provides that after two such rejections, "The master national negotiating committee shall return to the bargaining table and attempt to address the issues… in the event no new tentative agreement is reached, or if the members reject the new tentative agreement, the master committee shall conduct a strike authorization vote" in the supplemental area.

This should give the two groups some leverage to win changes to the agreement. But the Hoffa administration will likely try yet another "vote till you get it right" push. Hoffa and the Freight Division's game is to divide, discourage, and threaten members.

Maybe they can get a contract passed that way, but they cannot build Teamster power like this. They cannot organize. They cannot defend our pension plans.

The Record in Freight

They did nothing to increase Teamster bargaining power at ABF, misled members, then sold management's deal.

They lied to UPS Freight Teamsters and when the members rejected their deal, Hoffa-Hall went into hiding for over two months, and counting.

It looks like a secret deal with YRC may be in the works, and Hoffa cares more about his hedge-fund pal Harry Wilson than YRC Teamsters.

Worst of all, there is no plan to organize in freight or build Teamster power in trucking.

Teamster power is not just about numbers. It's about a strategy to leverage our power across the supply chain, at ports, plants, rail, trucking, warehousing and distribution, and use that power to grow and diversify our union.

Hoffa wouldn't recognize Teamster power if it stole his golf clubs. We need a new leadership with the vision and commitment to make it happen.

ABF Contract Shows Hoffa-Hall Have Given Up on Teamster Power

August 20, 2013: Hoffa and the Freight Division are parroting management's line, aiming to divide, discourage and defeat members.

In early August, ABF Teamsters in the Central Region, Carolinas, Western Pa., and a couple of other supplements are voting again on the contract.

A number of Teamsters are speaking out against the concessionary deal. Some have made up leaflets comparing the concessionary deal to what Hoffa initially said they would bargain for.

The initial contract vote was mishandled and suspect, with members getting UPS ballots, no ballots, wrong ballot instructions and with the results being looked into presently.

Meanwhile Hoffa and the Freight Division are parroting management's line, aiming to divide, discourage and defeat members.

Maybe they can get a contract passed that way, but they cannot build Teamster power like this. They cannot organize. They cannot defend our pension plans.

The Record

They misled ABF Teamsters and sold management's deal.

They lied to UPS Freight Teamsters and when the members rejected their deal, Hoffa-Hall went into hiding for two months.

It looks like a secret deal with YRC may be in the works, and Hoffa cares more about his hedge-fund pal Harry Wilson than YRC Teamsters.

Worst of all, there is no plan to organize in freight or build Teamster power in trucking.

Teamster power is not just about numbers. It's about a strategy to leverage our power across the supply chain, at ports, plants, rail, trucking, warehousing and distribution, and use that power to grow and diversify our union.

Hoffa wouldn't recognize Teamster power if it stole his golf clubs. We need a new leadership with the vision and commitment to make it happen.


ABF Teamsters: Stand Up

"Teamsters at ABF in Chicago Heights voted overwhelmingly against the proposed contract. We know it will take all of us and many more Teamsters around the country to make sure the vote on supplements addresses the real issues. We're passing out a vote NO leaflet in the Heights but also sending it on to other terminals to build support.

"Somebody needs to stand up for our rights, and that somebody is you!"

Bret Subsits, ABF, Local 710, Chicago

Get to the TDU Convention

"We need to recapture the pride and solidarity that we had in the union when I started out. Freight Teamsters were the backbone of our union and we need to restore that power.

"The TDU convention is a great place to recharge your batteries and get informed and organized for the fights ahead. I'll be in Chicago and encourage all my brothers and sisters to join me."

Larry Capesius, ABF, Local 238, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

ABF Teamsters Say No Deal

August 6, 2013: The ballots are out in the mail, but active Teamsters in the Central Region and some other supplemental areas are saying Vote No. A leaflet distributed by a number of Teamsters says that "a unified rejection of the supplements will better position us to recover our lost vacation week, and possibly all or some of our lost wages."

Bret Subsits, a Chicago Local 710 driver, has this message for fellow ABF Teamsters: "Somebody needs to stand up for our rights, and that somebody is you!"

In the Central road and cartage supplements, the IBT made only the most minor change imaginable: allowing Teamsters to split the days in a third week of vacation. If you are lucky enough to even have a third vacation week, after you give one up.

This seems to be the best the Hoffa-Hall leadership can do for freight Teamsters. If you think a change in leadership is needed to rebuild Teamster power in trucking, we invite you to Renew your membership or Join TDU today.

Schedule of Voting: August 6, ballots mailed out. August 14, if you do not have a ballot, contact your local union to get one. August 28, vote count.

If you would like to be an observer at the vote count, contact TDU.

The list of the seven supplements rejected is in a bulletin issued by the IBT.

Click here to send us a message.

ABF Ballots Go Out Aug 6

August 1, 2013: The ballots in the second-round vote on the ABF contract go out on August 6, and will be counted on August 28. Teamsters covered by the seven rejected supplements continue to be kept in the dark about what the IBT has done to improve the offer.

We do know that in the Central road and cartage supplements, they made the most minor change imaginable: allowing Teamsters to split the days in a third week of vacation. If you are lucky enough to even have a third vacation week, after you give one up.

This seems to be the best the Hoffa-Hall leadership can do for freight Teamsters. If you think a change in leadership is needed to rebuild Teamster power in trucking, we invite you to renew your membership or join TDU today.

Schedule of Voting: August 6, ballots mailed out. August 14, if you do not have a ballot, contact your local union to get one. August 28, vote count.

If you would like to be an observer at the vote count, contact TDU.

The list of the seven supplements rejected is in a bulletin issued by the IBT today.

Click here to send us a message.

TDU is dedicated to providing Teamster members with the information and support they need to make informed decisions about their contracts.

ABF Re-vote: Same stuff, new wrapper

July 31, 2013: The Hoffa administration is about to mail out ballots to re-vote the six supplements which were rejected a month ago. For the two largest ones, in the Central Region, apparently the only change is that a member can split the days on three weeks of vacation, instead of two. Big deal!

If this is the best Hoffa and Hall can do then they need to be replaced by leaders actually committed to building Teamster power in trucking.

With the vacation week give-back, you have to have 15 years seniority to even get three weeks of vacation.

The rejections of six supplements, including the largest, gave the leadership some real leverage to get some change to the contract (such as restoring the vacation week given away), but instead they made it clear they would get a token change in splitting vacation days and re-vote the same stuff.

When the IBT called a meeting for the Central Region officers a week ago, they were more interested in bashing ABF Teamsters for voting No.

ABF Teamsters are going to take a wage cut of about $5,000 per year. They deserve some Teamster leadership, not this cowardice.

The local-by-local vote count on the contract vote is available here.

Click here to send us a message.

TDU is dedicated to providing Teamster members with the information and support they need to make informed decisions about their contracts. No lies, no threats. Renew your membership or Join TDU today.

IBT May Re-Vote ABF Central Region Supplements

July 24, 2013: The IBT called union officers to Chicago today for a meeting on the ABF contract, but there was no meat on the bones. Absolutely nothing has been negotiated with the company since the rejection the Central Cartage and Road supplements, and it appears that the IBT has little intention of making real changes.

They were more interested in bashing ABF Teamsters for voting No.

IBT negotiator Gordon Sweeton told officers that he will try to get a minor change in the contract, and send it out for a re-vote soon. Or, he will send out a strike vote.

Rather than seeing the rejection in the largest region as leverage to get some adjustment to the contract, the Hoffa administration intends to make token changes and pressure members into accepting it.

ABF Teamsters deserve leadership, not this cowardice. They are going to take a wage cut of about $5,000 per year; the rejection in the Central Region should at least mean some real change in the contract.

The local-by-local vote count is available here.

Click here to send us a message.

TDU is dedicated to providing Teamster members with the information and support they need to make informed decisions about their contracts. No lies, no threats. Renew your membership or Join TDU today.

ABF: What's happening with the contract?

July 19, 2013: What is the Hoffa administration's plan for the rejected supplements? Will members be consulted about what should be changed in the rejected supplements? Will the IBT heed the call to re-do the defective vote?

So far, members have heard nothing from the administration except lies and threats.

After we received reports of ballot problems and questions from numerous members, including observers at the vote count, TDU Attorney Barbara Harvey requested detailed information based on the certification of the vote results. That was on July 12. No response has been received to date.

Local officers have heard nothing about what will be renegotiated (if anything!) in the rejected supplements, including the Central Region cartage and road supplements, the Carolina road supplement, etc. Members expect reasonable changes, in line with the supplemental rejections and big No vote.

What is trickling down to ABF Teamsters from Hoffa is a bunch of lies and threats. The latest one is that on August 1, Teamsters could lose their health coverage. Baloney. The August 1 health fund increase of 50¢ will be paid up retroactively to the H&W funds; even leaders of doubtful competence should be able to handle this issue.

ABF Teamsters have paid their dues in more ways than one. They are going to take a wage cut of about $5,000 per year. They deserve respect and support from the International union, not lies and threats.

The local-by-local vote count is available here.

Click here to send us a message.

TDU is dedicated to providing Teamster members with the information and support they need to make informed decisions about their contracts. No lies, no threats. Renew your membership or Join TDU today.

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