Less-than-truckload carrier ABF has been notified by the Teamsters Union that ballots to authorize a strike are being mailed on Tuesday to nearly 1,800 employees covered by the Central Region Local Cartage supplement. Votes will be counted on October 29. The Central Region Local Cartage supplement is one of 27 supplements to the ABF National Master Freight Agreement.

Photo: Evan Lockridge

Photo: Evan Lockridge

Following many months of negotiations between the two parties, a five-year contract agreement was reached and ratified in June by the majority of ABF Teamster employees. Since then, 25 of the 27 supplemental agreements have also been ratified. The two that remain are Western Office Part 5 and Central Region Local Cartage.

For Central Region Local Cartage employees, ABF says it has provided its “last, best and final offer” and is encouraging affected employees covered by the supplement to vote against a strike authorization.

The Teamsters are also reportedly encouraging its Central Region Local Cartage members to vote against a strike.

The new Master Freight Agreement between ABF and its more than 7,000 Teamster members cannot take effect until all of the supplemental agreements have been approved, with the current pact now having been extended through October 29. It calls for an immediate reduction in wages, but later pay hikes if ABF’s financial performance hits certain levels.

The other supplement that remains to be ratified is the Western Office Part 5 agreement, which covers about 50 West Coast clerical workers. AFB says concerns over it have been addressed and ABF is hopeful that ratification will occur in the short term following minor, non-economic modifications to that supplement.