ABF Freight Sues Union, YRC Subsidiaries Over Collective Bargaining Agreement

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Nov. 1, 2010 10:05 am  

ABF Freight System Inc., the largest subsidiary of Arkansas Best Corp. of Fort Smith, said Monday that it filed legal actions against the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and several YRC Worldwide subsidiaries for violation of the National Master Freight Agreement (NMFA), 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 a news release.

"The NMFA applies equally to every company that signed it and quite simply, with these three amendments, it does not do that."

The lawsuit comes after YRC Worldwide of Overland Park, Kan., and union members reached a new labor contract extending the Teamster's national contract with YRC to March 2015 and keeping 15 percent wage cuts.

The lawsuits, filed administratively under the contract and in federal court in Arkansas, allege that YRC and the Teamsters violated the NMFA in 2009 and 2010 by entering into "concessionary side agreements with YRC Companies to the exclusion of ABF and other companies signatory to the NMFA."

"These agreements led to ongoing significant wage and benefit reductions and other economic concessions that were applied only to YRC Companies, and not ABF," ABF said in a news release.




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