This week the Teamsters National Freight Industry Negotiating Committee (TNFINC) and ABF Freight
resumed bargaining for a new national collective bargaining agreement and the union reported progress on some of the issues. The current agreement is set to expire on March 31, 2018.
The parties met in Kansas City and made progress in several areas. For example, progress was made on tightening up language to address concerns about the use of purchased transportation and to improve job security. The union committee also stood firm in its opposition to the company’s controversial
drug-testing and fitness-for-duty proposals and, after many spirited meetings, the company ultimately withdrew these proposals. As a result, there will be no changes to Article 35.
Other issues were also addressed including improvements to certain equipment and additional disciplinary protections. TNFINC Co-Chairman and Teamsters National Freight Division Director Ernie Soehl said he was encouraged by the progress.
“Addressing the use of purchased transportation and improving job security are two of the main objectives of the bargaining team,” Soehl said. “We made good progress on
some important issues, but tough items, including the major economic issues, remain to be tackled.
“Our committee has done an amazing job of showing solidarity, working hard and is 100-percent committed to achieving our goals and representing the interests of the membership,” Soehl said.
Soehl said he greatly appreciates the support that the membership has shown for the committee in recent weeks. “The committee has received near universal support from the membership, and that is who we are working for,” Soehl said.
Negotiations resume on February 26.