Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!


ABF gets favorable ruling to advance lawsuit against YRC, Teamsters

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
July 06, 2011

ABF received a dose of good news earlier today, when the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth District changed course on a previous dismissal made by a lower court regarding ABF’s lawsuit against the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, YRC Inc., Trucking Management, Inc. and other related entities. 

Late last year, ABF signaled its intent to take legal action against the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, various subsidiaries of YRC Worldwide and other entities, following a ratified labor agreement by YRCW Teamsters members.

ABF said the reason for taking legal action is on the grounds that these organizations are violating the National Master Freight Agreement, which serves as the collective bargaining agreement for the majority of U.S.-based trucking employees.
YRCW’s agreement, which is the third one its Teamster members have ratified going back to 2008, extends its previous agreement with the Teamsters that was slated to expire in 2013 to March 31, 2015.

The agreement is being viewed by several industry experts as core to its survival. Some of the key components of the deal include: resuming pension contributions on June 1, 2011 at a 25 percent contribution rate; revised union work rules, which is comprised of reduced vacation time, a flexible work week, and four-hour work classification; and a renewal of its expiring ABS facility, among others. YRCW expects this deal to save the company $350 million annually during the duration of the agreement.

“ABF is very pleased with this decision and looks forward to further proceedings on its lawsuit seeking to level the playing field for all parties of the National Master Freight Agreement (NMFA),” the company said in a prepared statement.

When the original lawsuit was filed in November 2010, ABF sought to have the lower court create an appropriate grievance review committee to resolve the dispute, or to have the contract amendments benefiting only YRC declared null and void by the court, as required by the NMFA, according to the statement, adding that ABF also sought an award of monetary damages estimated to be approximately $750 million.  ABF will continue to seek that relief on remand.

A November Dow Jones report stated that YRCW President, Chairman, and CEO Bill Zollars labeled this legal challenge by ABFS as “worthless,” adding that YRCW will likely counter-sue ABFS.

Zollars described that lawsuit as “completely without merit,” adding that ABF is not a party to YRCW’s labor contract and the suit is “in direct contradiction to laws governing labor contracts.”

While YRCW could possibly be on the path back to solid footing with this agreement, ABFS President and Chief Executive Officer Wesley Kemp blasted it, noting that the three rounds of concessions granted to YRCW are in violation of the NMFA that has been in effect since April 2008.

“The NMFA applies equally to every company that signed it and quite simply, with these three amendments, it does not do that,” Kemp said in a statement. “We need a long-term, industry-wide solution that is fair to all NMFA parties. We have the obligation to our employees, to our customers and to Arkansas Best shareholders to enforce our rights under the NMFA and compete on the same playing field with our industry peers.

In December, ABF launched a Web site—abflegalaction.com—dedicated to all things pertaining to these legal issues. Included on the site is an interesting list of facts about its stance on these matters.

Some of the highlights include:
-clarifying that YRCW does not have a separate NMFA contract from ABF, stating that “there is only one National Master Freight Agreement, which all Teamster employees working for NMFA companies ratified in 2008. There is no other agreement.”;
-disputing the claim made by the Teamsters National Freight Industry Negotiating Committee that ABF was offered the same deal as YRCW was, with ABF saying it was never offered the same concessions granted to YRCW; and
-“In an effort to avoid filing the lawsuit and grievance, ABF attempted to negotiate industry-wide changes to the NMFA. TNFINC and its representatives responded by pressuring ABF to acquire YRC, indicating that in exchange for committing to an acquisition of YRC, that TNFINC would agree to contract changes which would make such a transaction economically viable. When we communicated our reluctance to pursue such a transaction, TNFINC representatives advised that that IBT would be unwilling to work with us, going forward, after YRC’s deal was ratified by its employees.”

What’s more, ABF stated it is not in any way trying to drive YRCW out of business. It says the company’s goal is to simply enforce the NMFA as it was agreed upon and ratified by NMFA Teamsters, as well as to focus on a level playing field for all signatories of the NMFA.

About the Author

Jeff Berman headshot
Jeff Berman
Group News Editor

Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Subscribe to Logistics Management magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your
entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

Getting items ordered online to your home on a same-day basis is as important or relevant as it needs to be, and it depends on things like the type of products being ordered and its relative urgency as well. This was put into better perspective for me during a recent conversation I had with Dr. Victor Allis, CEO of Quintiq, a supply chain vendor specializing in a single optimization and planning platform.

Diesel prices dropped for the third straight week, with the average price per gallon seeing a 2.5 percent decline to $3.869 per gallon, according to the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Seasonally-adjusted (SA) for-hire truck tonnage in June dropped 0.8 percent on the heels of a revised 0.9 percent (from 1.0 percent) increase in May and was up 2.3 percent annually.

Even as Congress was putting the finishing touches on a 10-month short-term funding extension to the federal aid highway bill that temporarily averts a funding crisis, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx was ripping the measure as a short-term “gimmick” that once again fails to adequately fund U.S. infrastructure needs in the long run.

ISI is comprised of Integrated Services, ISI Logistics and ISI Logistics South and is focused on the warehousing and transportation needs of automotive shippers. RRTS said that in 2013, Integrated Services generated revenues of approximately $21 million adding that Integrated Services is expected to be accretive to Roadrunner’s earnings in 2014.

Article Topics

News · Trucking · LTL · YRC · ABF · ABFS · Less-Than-Truckload · All topics

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.


© Copyright 2013 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA