ABF Wins Appeal of Lawsuit Against Teamsters

by Jan Cottingham  on Wednesday, Jul. 6, 2011 2:56 pm  

ABF Freight System Inc. has won its appeal of the dismissal of its lawsuit against the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, YRC Inc., Trucking Management Inc. and other entities.

The U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis on Wednesday reversed and remanded a lower court's dismissal of ABF's lawsuit. The case now returns to federal court.

"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," ABF said in a news release.

ABF is the largest subsidiary of Arkansas Best Corp. of Fort Smith (Nasdaq: %%ABFS%%).

ABF filed the lawsuit in November 2010, alleging that the defendants had violated the National Master Freight Agreement, a collective bargaining agreement covering most unionized trucking employees in the country.

"It is ABF's firm belief that the three rounds of concessions granted to YRC -- with the latest deal just ratified last week -- by the IBT are in violation of the NMFA that has been in effect since April 2008," Wesley Kemp, ABF's president and CEO, said in November.

YRC, based in Overland Park, Kan., is one of the nation's largest trucking companies.
ABF's lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Little Rock, asked the court to 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," Wednesday's statement by ABF said. ABF also sought about $750 million in damages.

The company said Wednesday that it will continue to seek that relief.



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