YRC's proposal to acquire ABF in the middle of union negotiations is "unconscionable," according to James P. Hoffa, general president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.
The two parties reached a tentative, five-year contract agreement earlier this month after negotiating since early January, but no firm details of the contract have been officially released. According to the Teamsters for a Democratic Union, ABF was looking for a 6.5-percent wage cut and reductions in its pension and healthcare costs, among other concessions. The agreement is now up for a vote by all union employees.
“It is unconscionable that in the middle of the IBT's sensitive negotiations for a new contract for 6,000 ABF Teamsters, and in the context of years of continuing sacrifice by our members at YRC, that YRC would advance a secret effort to acquire ABF's freight division," Hoffa said in a statement. "This interference in the collective bargaining process is an affront to all of the hardworking men and women at both companies."
In addition to being a distraction during the negotiating process, Hoffa said YRC had no businesses trying to acquire a company.
“Before YRC begins looking for acquisition targets they should first restore our members' wages and pension contributions," he continued. "We have seen this kind of arrogance from YRC before. We thought they had finally learned the lessons of past management catastrophes. Unfortunately it appears they have not. We want to give credit to ABF for rejecting this gambit, and we now will demand from YRC a full accounting of the calculations and decisions that went into their latest misstep.”
A news item on the Teamsters for a Democratic Union's Website posits that ABF management may have intentionally leaked the $461 million acquisition proposal in order to "scare" union members into accepting contract concessions. - Jon Ross