The International Brotherhood of Teamsters Tuesday sent out strike ballots to employees of the Central Region Local Cartage supplement of ABF.
Votes are expected to be counted on Oct. 29.
The Central Region Local Cartage and Western Office Part 5 are two of the 27 supplemental agreements that remain unresolved in ABF's current round of contract talks with the union. According to ABF, ratification of the Western Office Part 5 will occur shortly.
ABF and the Teamsters initially ratified a five-year contract in June and have been chipping away at the supplemental agreements ever since, enacting a series of contract extensions along the way. The latest extension expires at the end of the month.
"ABF is encouraging employees covered by the Central Region Local Cartage supplement to vote 'No' to the strike authorization and to let their voices be heard by making sure they exercise their right to cast a ballot. ABF is aware that the Teamsters have also encouraged its Central Region Local Cartage members to vote 'No' to a strike in a letter they mailed to employees," the carrier said in a statement.
According to Teamsters for a Democratic Union, a grassroots organization of Teamsters, the Oct. 1 letter from Teamster headquarters was not well received.
"In the event that a strike is nonetheless authorized by employees in Central Region Local Cartage and directed by the committee," ABF continued, "there can be no strike before Oct. 29 which is the end of the expiration of the current contract extension. ABF is preparing for this outcome and will work to ensure that all customer requirements are met. In the interim, it remains business as usual at ABF."