Contract Delivers Members’ Priorities
Leaders of carhaul local unions from across the country overwhelmingly endorsed a new tentative National Master Automobile Transporters Agreement (NMATA) today in Detroit, paving the way for members to vote on the contract later this month.
Ballots are scheduled to be mailed out to members on or about August 22 and tentatively scheduled to be counted on September 15. This schedule will allow local unions enough time to conduct informational meetings.
The tentative agreement has been unanimously endorsed by the Teamsters National Automobile Transporters Industry Negotiating Committee (TNATINC). The tentative agreement is retroactive to September 1, 2015 and runs 60 months, until August 31, 2020. The union successfully negotiated wage increases and maintenance of health benefits provisions late into the term of the contract to better protect members’ earnings and health coverage in the latter years of the proposed agreement. If approved, there will be an immediate back-pay settlement of $1,000 to cover the period that has elapsed since the expiration of the 2011-15 agreement.
“This new agreement meets two distinct goals identified by the membership. First, it has traditional wage increases and secondly it maintains our members’ top tier health and pension benefits—both very high priorities for our NMATA members,” said Kevin Moore, Director of the Teamsters Carhaul Division and Co-Chairman of the TNATINC.
“Bargaining grew complicated over the past nine months for several reasons, most notably that the auto transport sector softened which in turn caused the employer group to pull back from some of their earlier commitments,” Moore said. “We found this unacceptable and had to grind down on the NATLD until they heard us. What has resulted is a solid tentative agreement and the negotiating committee is confident our members will ratify the agreement. I want to thank the entire Negotiating Committee for staying focused on our members’ priorities and getting the job done.”
The Teamsters’ negotiating committee successfully beat back numerous proposed over-the-road and yard-management operational changes proposed by the employers’ group. For example, the National Automobile Transporters Labor Division (NATLD) was still looking for the right to utilize our drivers nationally in an on-demand, 24/7 environment similar to what was rejected by the members in 2015. The Teamsters’ negotiating committee dug in, making sure members’ working conditions and livelihoods were protected. The employers’ group also demanded major changes to items such as cargo damage claims and in some instances we ended up with improvements in these areas in the end.
“Our members were very clear that they wanted their wage and benefits protected, and ultimately we delivered this message in very clear terms to the employers,” Moore said. “This tentative agreement reflects the mandate with which we were sent. Although the unionized carhaul industry still faces many challenges including market share loss, we believe this agreement provides real, long-term job security and a chance for our companies to grow.”
The tentative agreement calls for annual wage increases beginning at ratification of : 30, 30, 30, 35 and 45 cents, plus significant mileage-rate increases (see summary for more information). In addition, all current “new business” rates will be increased by 3 percent each year going forward and now be subject to the COLA clause, which was not the case previously.
The tentative agreement also allows volunteer drivers to occasionally run the system to meet new OEM service requirements and address the ever-changing ebb and flow of product demand and release schedules.