After more than two years of IBT-funded and initiated litigation as well as an unfair labor practice strike against Voith Industrial Services, more than 160 previously displaced Teamster members of Louisville, Kentucky Local 89 have won back their jobs with full back pay and benefits.
Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa acted early in January 2012 to request that then-UAW President Bob King assist in protecting Teamsters’ jurisdiction to haul out-bound cars from Ford assembly plants. When the UAW leaders were unwilling to end what the NLRB Judges declared to be a company “scheme” to violate employees’ rights, General President Hoffa directed that the resources of the IBT be fully engaged to support the aggrieved Local 89 members.
“This is a huge victory for our members,” said Kevin Moore, Director of the Teamsters Carhaul Division. “This victory was secured by the coordinated efforts of the International Union, the Carhaul Division, Local 89 and its members.”
Moore expressed special appreciation to Teamster members Brenda Helm, Deborah Cheatham, Kelly Stein, Patty Murphy, Sandra Rhodes and Brenda Swift, not only for their skills as rail-loaders at the Ford LAP, but also for their courage to appear as witnesses for workers’ rights at the NLRB hearings in the face of tremendous company pressure.
Moore also recognized Gary Muffley, the NLRB Regional Director in Cincinnati, Ohio for acting forcefully to require the German-owned Voith Industrial Services to comply with U.S. labor law; IBT General Counsel Brad Raymond and Division Counsel Jim Wallington for carefully monitoring the local union’s picketing activity to assure that economic action by members in Louisville was lawful and effective; Carhaul Division Co-Director Roy Gross for providing negotiating assistance to Local 89 representatives to assure that the terms of the national agreement and Central-Southern Supplement continued to protect the affected Teamsters members; and Local 89 President Fred Zuckerman for his strong support during this long battle.
The final NLRB compliance settlement with Voith will require back-pay and benefit compensation to nearly 250 Louisville-area workers. The NLRB remedy requires a retroactive application of the wages and benefits under the National Carhaul contract back to January, 2012, including Central States Pension Fund contributions on all weeks worked since that date. Representatives involved in the resolution of the NLRB charges estimate the liability of Voith to these workers is at least $20 million.
“This carhaul work had been under a Teamster contract at Louisville since the early 1950s,” Gross explained. “The new employer for vehicle shuttling and rail loading at the Ford LAP is RCS Transportation. RCS is signatory to our National contract. The seniority of the returning workers and the terms of the local rider will be reviewed by the National Joint Committees under the NMATA. The Union representatives appointed by General President Hoffa on the TNATINC will assure our members receive the benefits of Teamsters representation into the future and as long as Ford ships vehicles from Louisville.”