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Teamsters, trucking companies settle.

In mid-May, the Teamsters union announced ratification of a 3-year contract with two major associations of trucking companies--Trucking Management, Inc. (TMI) and Motor Carrier Labor Advisory Council (MCLAC). The vote tally was 62,296 for and 54,873 against the accord. TMI comprises about 35 national carriers, while MCLAC comprises regional, short-haul, and specialized carriers. The union also negotiated similar wage and benefit terms with a number of independent companies, and bargaining continued with others.

There was opposition from a group of Teamsters' members which initiated court action to overthrow the vote, contending that about 40,000 casual workers--whose pay was cut under the settlement--had not been permitted to cast ballots. The union maintained that there were only about 7,000 casuals involved, and that they had been traditionally excluded from voting on proposed settlements.

Defending the accord, Teamsters President Jackie Presser said, "we were able to successfully address areas of the greatest concern to the members, including wage increases, increased health and welfare and pension contributions, and perhaps most importantly, job security."

The opponents generally contended that the agreement did not provide for adequate wage increases for all employees, discriminated against new full-time and all part-time employees by establishing lower pay rates for them, and did not do enough to prevent the carriers from engaging in "double-breasting" (forming subsidiaries employing nonunion workers).

The accord provided for 50 cents an hour wage increases for local drivers on the April 1, 1985, termination date of the 1982 accord, and on April 1 of 1986 and 1987. In each case, the 50 cents includes a flat 31 cents "cost-of-living adjustment" (COLA) that is not contingent on the movement of the Consumer Price Index. Unlike the 1982 agreement, the COLA adjustments are not subject to diversion to meet pension and health and welfare cost increases. Over-the-road drivers received increases of 1.25 cents per mile (including a 0.775-cent COLA adjustment) on the same dates. According to the union, hourly employees will earn $6,240 more over the contract term than under the previous contract (based on 2,080 hours compensated per year), and over-the-road drivers will earn $9,750 more than under the previous contract (based on 2,500 miles driven per week).

Under the 1982 agreement, the employees did not receive any specified wage increases, and all but 47 cents of the total of $1.40 in automatic annual COLA's was diverted to help meet the employers cost of maintaining pension and health and welfare benefits.

Full-time workers hired after the effective date of the 1985 contract will start at 70 percent of the current top pay rate for their job category, move to 80 percent of the rate after 1 year, to 90 percent after 2 years, and to the top rate after 3 years.

Pay rates for all casual employees were set at $11 an hour on April 1, 1985, and will increase by 50 cents on April 1 of 1986 and 1987. As before, the casual employees will not receive any benefits. Previously, they earned $13.21 an hour.

In the area of benefits, the agreement provides for a total of 30 cents an hour to be allocated between pension and health and welfare funds over the term. This will permit some improvements, such as increasing the monthly pension to $1,000 for 30-year employees retiring under the Central States Pension Fund.

One of the new job security provisions says that employers will not "subcontract or divert the work presently performed by, or hereafter assigned to, its employees, to other business entities owned and/or controlled by the signatory employer, or its parent, subsidiaries, or affiliates."
COPYRIGHT 1985 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
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Author:Ruben, George
Publication:Monthly Labor Review
Date:Jul 1, 1985
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