Teamsters ratify new labor contract with ABF Freight

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 850 views 

International Brotherhood of Teamsters members employed by Fort Smith-based ABF Freight have “overwhelmingly” approved a five-year labor contract, with two supplemental agreements set for a vote in the near future, according to the Teamsters.

The new contract will cover an estimated 8,600 ABF workers who are members of 137 local unions under the Teamsters umbrella.

“This national agreement will serve as the model for the rest of the freight industry. It will set the tone for national freight contracts moving forward. The gains made at the table will be long-lasting and far-reaching,” Sean O’Brien, Teamsters general president and chair of the Teamsters National Freight Industry Negotiating Committee, said in Monday’s (July 3) statement.

The Teamsters and ABF officials announced June 16 the terms of the new contract that a vote had been approved. A wage increase was a key change in the new contract. Union members will receive a $3.50 per hour raise effective July 1, 2023, with a total of $6.50 in raises over the life of the agreement. The wage increase in year one alone surpasses those of the entire previous contract, according to both parties.

ABF is the largest subsidiary of Fort Smith-based ArcBest, a shipping and logistics company. ArcBest’s 2022 full-year revenue was $5.324 billion, up 33.7% compared with 2021 revenue. Full-year net income was $298.209 million, up 39.6% compared with 2021. Full-year revenue at ABF was $3.01 billion, above the $2.573 billion in 2021. ABF operating income in 2022 was $381.133 million, better than the $260.707 million in 2021.

“It remains business as usual at ABF as the negotiating teams work through the final two remaining supplements. ABF employees will continue to work under terms of the current contract during this process,” the company noted in a Monday statement.