Car Haulers Ratify Contract Overwhemingly

After two prior failed attempts, the third try was the charm for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which ratified a new national contract for car-hauling truck drivers.

The national contract was ratified by more than 86% of voters, and the Central Southern supplement also was ratified by 84%. Voting took place over the past three weeks and ballots were counted March 30.

The 5,000 workers covered by the agreements also will receive a back-pay settlement of $1,600 each to cover the period that has elapsed since the expiration of the 2011-2015 agreement.

“The negotiations have been a long and difficult process, but in the end, we negotiated an agreement that met the two top goals of our membership: traditional wage increases and maintaining our members’ top-tier health and pension benefits,” said Kevin Moore, director of the Teamsters Carhaul Division. “Our car haul members are the best, most experienced workers in the industry, and they deserve to be rewarded for their hard work.”

The national agreement provides for health, welfare and pension contributions to maintain benefits. It also provides for wage increases of between 30 and 45 cents per mile in each of the next five years. In addition, all current “new business” rates will be increased by 6% and then by 3% each year going forward.

“We thank our car haul membership for standing by the negotiating committee during these protracted negotiations,” Moore said. “In the end, we achieved a balanced settlement that protects historical benefits enjoyed by our skilled Teamsters but also will give the unionized side of auto and truck transporters a chance to grow in the future.”

Union car haulers rejected previous tentative contracts as the previous contract ran out on Sept. 1, 2015, then they voted down another proposal in September 2016.

The negotiations involve union members who move and maintain trucks that carry new vehicles from automakers’ plants to dealers. The two largest unionized car carriers are Jack Cooper Holdings Corp. and Cassens Transport, which rank Nos. 42 and 72, respectively, on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest U.S. and Canadian for-hire carriers.