Judge Again Dismisses ABF Suit Against Teamsters
August 06, 2012
A U.S. District Court judge has dismissed Arkansas Best Corp.'s lawsuit against the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and other parties, which had alleged YRC Worldwide's deal with the Temamsters violated the National Master Freight Agreement.
On Nov. 1, 2010, Arkansas Best (the parent company of ABF Freight System) filed suit
seeking $750 million in financial damages from the union and several YRC Worldwide subsidiaries for violations of the collective bargaining agreement.
YRC received wage and benefit concessions from the Teamsters,
amounting to $350 million annually through 2013. Previously, the Teamsters had approved a 15% pay cut among unionized YRC drivers. ABF was unable to negotiate similar concessions from the union.
That case was dismissed on Dec. 16, 2010,
by Judge Susan Webber Wright for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Attorneys for ABF later presented their case in the United States Court of Appeal for the Eighth Circuit, which ruled in favor of ABF.
The case was heard again by Judge Wright of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas, who entered an order dismissing the case again, without prejudice. In her ruling, Judge Wright noted that ABF had not followed all the procedures available outside of the courts, and that "...ABF had failed to exhaust the NMFA grievance procedure."
In a statement issued last week, ABF stated that it "disagrees with, and is disappointed by, today's District Court ruling."
ABF says it is studying the ruling and evaluating its options, which include, among other avenues, taking a second appeal to the Eighth Circuit or refiling the case in the District Court.Related Stories:7/11/2011 - ABF Can Proceed with Suit Against YRC, Teamsters7/13/2011 - Teamsters, YRCW Approve Key Component in Restructuring Plan1/21/2011 - ABF Appeals YRC-Teamsters Decision