Throughout the 2008-2011 contract negotiations, the union says, it sought first and foremost to preserve and protect the members' job security and job opportunities in an auto industry that is suffering from economic upheaval.
"The proposed agreement eliminated various restrictions so that our contracted employers could haul more cars, thereby providing additional job opportunities to our members and protecting their job security," said Fred Zuckerman, Teamsters Carhaul Division Director. "However, our members have made it clear that they do not accept the proposal."
In a news update to members, Teamsters Carhaul leadership said, " While the improvements came at some cost -- the carriers achieved some operating flexibility and opportunities to bid on new work they previously couldn't service -- the job security of all carhaulers is enhanced by better allowing the carriers to efficiently compete in markets where they can go head-to-head against non-union carriers."
Apparently the rank and file didn't buy that argument. As Traffic World reported, when union locals counted votes on Monday, the final margin was almost 3 to 2 against the proposal. By a vote of 2,939 to 2,076, the contract and all three supplements failed to gain approval because of concessions made to employers.
"Now that the ballots have been counted and the contract has been rejected, we plan to speak to our members and our carhaul local union leaders to discuss the issues behind this defeat," Zuckerman said. "We will get our members' input on the issues that concern them. We understand that our members are worried and angry about the difficult economic conditions facing the auto and carhaul industries. We hope to resolve this contract without going on strike."