Arkansas Best, Teamsters Extend Contract, Await Approval Of New Deal

by Chris Bahn  on Thursday, May. 30, 2013 1:41 pm  

Arkansas Best Corp. headquarters in Fort Smith.

ABF Freight System Inc. and the Teamsters have extended their current labor contract through the end of June while waiting on union workers to approve a new, five-year deal between the two parties. 

ABF Freight parent company Arkansas Best Corp. of Fort Smith (Nasdaq: ABFS) announced the extension in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Teamster representatives recently approved a new contract with the carrier, but the agreement requires approval from a majority of ABF's 7,500 union employees before it is official. 

Ballots will be mailed to the Teamsters on Monday and a count of votes is expected for June 27.

"While the ratification process continues, it is business as usual at ABF, and we thank our customers and employees for their ongoing support," ABFS said in the SEC filing. "We believe that the contract proposal that will soon be voted on by our employees represents the best opportunity to return the company to profitability, while preserving some of the best jobs in the industry.

"The agreement maintains all health, welfare and pension benefits and provides for wages that will be higher at the end of the agreement than current rates."



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