November 30, 2007 8:30 AM, EST

Teamsters, TMI Report Progress at Freight Talks

Two Sides Exchange Contract Proposals

Teamsters union  leaders and representatives of Trucking Management Inc. said that National Master Freight Agreement talks were going well, two days after both sides exchanged contract proposals in Washington.

The progress this week maintains the strong momentum that has taken place since both sides announced early negotiations in late August 2007, the union said in a statement.

Both sides made progress negotiating the supplemental agreements in October. Talks continued on Thursday and will resume next Wednesday.

Tyson Johnson, Director of the Teamsters National Freight Division and Jim Roberts, president of TMI, the primary multi-employer bargaining arm of the unionized freight trucking industry, issued a joint statement.

It said: “We are making steady progress on the non-economic issues and we hope to continue progress when negotiations resume Dec. 5. At the current rate of progress, there is no reason that we won’t soon finish the non-economic issues and we have already had initial discussions of the economic issues.

“We will soon have further discussions of economic issues, including wages, pensions and health and welfare benefits. Both sides are serious about addressing the issues and we are committed to bargaining in good faith. Our goal is to negotiate a contract that will address the needs of the Teamster-represented employees and address the needs of TMI-represented companies,” the statement said.