A Monday night strike deadline by more than 12,000 car-hauling Teamsters truckers and other workers against the nation's 17 major auto-hauling operations has been averted until at least midnight, tonight.
Union negotiators have agreed to extend the contract for 24 hours. The agreement to extend the talks was made after management presented an 11th-hour, comprehensive economic proposal on issues including pensions, health insurance and pay.
The strike hiatus also follows an important move by management to drop its demand to use Mexican drivers and trucks to deliver vehicles in the United States.
A provision in the North American Free Trade Agreement trade calls for Mexican vehicles to be allowed free rein over U.S. highways starting Jan. 1, 2000. Mexican vehicles are currently restricted to a narrow commercial zone along the U.S. border.
Negotiators for the union and the National Automobile Transporters Assn. met over the long Memorial Day holiday trying to resolve their differences in Arlington, VA.
The Teamsters are also opposed to management's demands for a two-tier wage system that provides lower entry-level wages for new hires as well as relaxed work standards that would force drivers to work longer hours.
The last time Teamster car-haulers were on strike was in May 1995, when they waged a 32-day strike against Ryder System