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ABF Freight, Teamsters reach tentative labor deal

Agreement to be ratified after union review next week

Final terms of the contract are unlikely to be revealed for a few weeks. (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

ABF Freight announced Wednesday after the market closed that it has reached a tentative labor deal with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

A filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission said the two parties have agreed to terms on their national and supplemental labor contracts. The deal will need to be ratified by employees.

A Wednesday statement from the Teamsters said union representatives will review the contract next week and then put it out to members for a vote. The Teamsters said the new deal “will provide members with wage increases and improvements to benefits and working conditions, among other gains.”

Once approved, the five-year deal will become effective when the current agreement expires at the end of June. ABF, ArcBest’s (NASDAQ: ARCB) less-than-truckload subsidiary, said it will provide details on the terms in the coming weeks.

The collective bargaining agreement covers approximately 8,600 ABF employees.

“We are pleased with this successful outcome for our employees, our customers and other stakeholders who rely on us and thank everyone for their continued patience as we work toward full contract ratification,” a spokesperson with ArcBest told FreightWaves.

Teamsters are currently negotiating multiple labor deals with LTL carriers and UPS (NYSE: UPS).

Negotiations with Yellow Corp. (NASDAQ: YELL) have been contentious as the two parties have failed to reach an agreement over a proposed change of operations. They will now attempt to hash out differences by reopening their national master freight agreement several months ahead of schedule.

The union will also begin holding a strike authorization vote this week with members at UPS. If approved, the union would presumably have more leverage at the bargaining table. A similar tactic was used by the Teamsters at ABF.

“At the start of negotiations, we promised to fight like hell for our members at ABF,” stated John Murphy, Teamsters Freight Division director. “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.”

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  1. Freight Zippy

    This has some significant effect on Yellow. Prior to announcing an agreement, shippers may have had concerns about capacity in the event the Yellow situation deteriorates.
    This calms some of those fears. With ABF on solid ground the Teamsters Union can escalate their fight with Yellow that may easily result in their ultimate demise.
    If so, a settled union contract with ABF allows shippers to begin to divert business to a more legitimate carrier without the fear of a labor dispute.
    Thus accelerating the demise of Yellow

  2. Dick Bischoff

    ABF will likely be the only remaining teamster LTL carrier in the nation within the next few years. Kudos to a well run company and a teamster group that isn’t as combative as they could be. Yellow will join the boneyard in less than two years, TForce Freight I give five years unless they strike this summer. If they strike, they are toast.

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Todd Maiden

Based in Richmond, VA, Todd is the finance editor at FreightWaves. Prior to joining FreightWaves, he covered the TLs, LTLs, railroads and brokers for RBC Capital Markets and BB&T Capital Markets. Todd began his career in banking and finance before moving over to transportation equity research where he provided stock recommendations for publicly traded transportation companies.