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February 26, 2019 11:15 AM, EST

Teamsters: Jack Cooper Workers at Ford Plant in Louisville Won’t Be Laid Off

Jack CooperA Jack Cooper car transporter. (TT File Photo)

Four hundred twenty-five union workers at the Ford Truck Plant in Louisville, Ky., who were told Feb. 20 they were being laid off April 21, will not be out of work, according to a Teamsters union leader who spoke with Transport Topics.

On Feb. 20, Jack Cooper Transport Co., a vehicle-hauling company based in Kansas City, Mo., sent a letter to the Kentucky Career Center notifying the state that it planned to “cease yard management operations” at the Louisville location.

The letter said 165 yard employees, clerks, quality inspectors, quality safety inspectors, yard and dispatch supervisors, assistant yard supervisors and an office manager would be laid off. An additional 260 employees, who work as needed, also would be let go.

Jack Cooper

“This closure is expected to be permanent and will affect all employees who work in yard management services,” Plant Manager Brian Knapp said. “Our core business, car haul/transportation, will continue to operate from the facility.”

The letter sent to the state is part of the WARN Act (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act of 1988). It is a 60-day notice period that is required by U.S. labor law when a company plans to lay off more than 100 workers.

However, TT has learned that while Jack Cooper Transport is losing the business with Ford, another trucking company, RCS Transportation of Simpsonville, Ky., also known as Valiant Management and Holdings, has been awarded the contract and will begin operations at the Louisville yard in late April.

“No one is getting laid off,” Teamsters Local 89 President Fred Zuckerman said in an interview with TT. “We go through this all of the time. A company will lose business and another company will take it, and everybody goes to work and that’s it.”

Zuckerman said it will be business as usual for his union members April 21. “They’ll go to work the same day, the same day of the transfer, with their seniority in effect, with their vacations, insurance, everything,” he said. “They won’t lose a beat.”

Zuckerman said Jack Cooper Transport and RCS Transportation are covered under the Teamsters Union Master Contract.

Jack Cooper Transport has 57 terminals across the United States and Canada.

According to its website, RCS Transportation has eight locations, seven in its home state and one in New Jersey.

Officials from Jack Cooper and RCS were not available for comment.

Ford builds the F-250 to F-550 Ford Super Duty line of trucks at the facility as well as the Ford Expedition and the Lincoln Navigator.