ABF Freight System, the nation’s seventh-largest less-than-truckload (LTL) carrier with $2.95 billion in revenue last year, has won five years of labor peace under a tentative new National Master Freight Agreement with the Teamsters union.
The Teamsters National Freight Industry Negotiating Committee (TNFINC) and ABF have tentatively agreed to terms for a new national contract. It will be sent out to approximately 8,600 ABF truck drivers, dock workers and other members nationwide. The current five-year agreement expires June 30.
Once ratified, the Teamsters said the proposed five-year contract will provide members with wage increases and improvements to benefits and working conditions, according to the union.
Teamster representatives are scheduled to meet in Chicago next week to review the tentative agreement before sending it to the membership for a ratification vote.
“At the start of negotiations, we promised to fight like hell for our members at ABF. I can confidently say that we did just that. This tentative agreement is a testament to our hard work, strength and determination at the bargaining table,” said John A. Murphy, Teamsters Freight Division director who spearheaded the talks.
“I want to thank the entire negotiating team for their hard work and commitment throughout the bargaining process, especially our rank-and-file members who served on the committee,” Murphy added.
On May 12, the Teamsters said that talks with ABF, had resumed but “the parties currently remain far apart on economics.” While details are scant, this final agreement must have resolved or mitigated those issues.
The final hurdles involved use of outside non-union transportation, driverless trucks and inward-facing dash cameras – all historically non-negotiable items for the Teamsters.
With more than 8,600 union employees, ABF is the third-largest Teamsters employer after UPS and Yellow Corp. Those ABF workers are entitled to roughly a 2% annual increase in wages. ABF workers also enjoy a profit-sharing deal that pays up to 3% more a year. That side deal has kicked in each of the last two years because of the favorable pricing environment in the LTL industry and other factors.