Guest post by, The anonymous carhauler
I have been on both sides working for United Road and Allied. I believe that there are very few differences. Both have very good medical insurance, and poor maintenance programs. Union drivers call non-union scabs and non-union drivers say we pay a pimp. The bottom line is we all have the same skilled trade. We are all car haulers, a elite breed of truck drivers. We all stay at the same hotels, load in the same yards, and deliver to the same dealerships.
United road is owned by a hedge fund just like allied, active-jack cooper. These investors want a return on their capital, that’s it. They don’t care if we are a union or non-union driver, they don’t know the difference. They only care about return on capital. They are not in it for a career like we are, they want to squeeze the companies of everything they can and move on.
Bottom line is it doesn’t matter what name is on the door, we need to stick together for the greater good of all car haulers. As you all know not all truck drivers can successfully operate a car hauler. We ARE a skilled trade, and can’t be replaced. The executives in Atlanta and Romlus,Mi dont’ have a CDL and have no idea how to load a truck. Without us who are they going to hire? Think about all the new drivers that you worked with over the years that couldn’t cut it. I know the Teamsters are very flawed, but we need to stick together. Most people would agree that when the unions started they did great things for workers and set the standard for wages and benefits. Now the Teamsters have evolved into a big business. We are holding all the cards in this game, this is our industry. How do we get it back?
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disgruntled teamster Says:
I agree with many of your points….As far as what’s next? I only see more URS, Harbor, Sierra Mountain Express, Selland etc, etc. The shippers only concern is getting their vehicles shipped safely and don’t care who does it. The non union sector has been growing and the Teamsters just watch and talk about organizing??
The fact of the matter is that just the benefit package is $13 an hr or $27,000 a year. The economic downturn has created the perfect storm for more of this cost cutting and Teamsters are making too much money, Roadway/Yellow has taken 2 pay cuts already this year and suspended pension contributions for 18 months. PMT and Hadley on west coast lost everything to non union and now laid off Teamsters are working for nothing. Owner operators have not been spared because they’ve taken substantial pay cuts and work for URS, Sierra Mtn, Harbor just to keep their rigs. You’re right about being a skilled work force but as far as being a brotherhood…..It’s wishful thinking and the Teamsters only care about dues and contributions. The new owners of Cooper Active, Allied Yucaipa, URS, etc. are making a ton of money off these guys and want more!!! Hold on to your wallets and the guys who are still employed by Allied Cooper, PMT, Cassens, get your heads out of the sand because the WEST COAST AND EAST COAST has been conquered by NON UNION. I once heard my DI call it a “pincer move” you surround your enemy and then you keep squeezing from both sides until you crush them and they can’t retreat because your attacking from West and East. Brilliant strategy on their part and the Teamsters just watching from the sidelines like they did to freight in the 70’s from 450,000 to less the 30.000. The “gippos” are coming real soon
- October 14th, 2009 at 12:13 pm
Non-union Carrier Says:
The long and the short of it is everyone wants to ‘maximize there income or profits’ This includes the manufactures, the transport companies and the employees whether they are union or non-union.
Union drivers have nothing invested other than a commitment and a lunch pail. To work for a traditional company, such as Allied, Cassens Jack Cooper, etc, you would have a minimum of 5 years if not longer before you are truely a full-time employee. And that is only if you can put of with the union rules of ’sweeping the floor’ for what the senior men don’t want to do and working most of the undesirable times and runs. Isn’t that a great way to live.
It also explains why the biggest portion of the equipment is border line junk.
But, the bigger problem is that the bigger companies have terrible management. You will see empty trucks on any given Interstate passing each other empty and heading for the same place the other truck had just come from. This is very poor planning and if it is because the the driver had too much or too little seniority for that particular load, who is running the company? The inmates could be running the asylum and that is no way to run a business.
Now, on the other hand, there are some very unethical non-union carriers. URS is a great example, cut the rates to get the work, make a ton of promises that you can’t keep, and then farm it out. They get there percentage of the revenue regardless of how they do it. Everyone, I think, disagrees with this strategy, including the manufactures’.
However, there are some very good, non-union, “Owner Operator” carriers that pride themselves in nice equipment, professional drivers and ‘not’ bargain basement prices. Companies like this have a valued interest in the industry and just choose not to let the Union’s dictate what they can do, where they can go, or who they give the loads to. If a driver or should I say owner/operator takes the iniatative to invest in his future by buying equipment, he or she deserves that. They don’t crash and smash, they show up for work on time and they put the customer, whether corporate or personal back in the 1st position. They are the ones who pay for reliable, on-time, damage free services.
To sum it all up, the companies need to keep the rates up, give the employees the opportunity to invest in the company and their future if so desired, and learn to work together regardless of union or non-union affiliation. Union members need to remember, “it is not your work” You have just been fortunate to have it as long as you have. Talk your employers into making an investment in the company and take to the time and make the commitment to keep the “customers” satisfied.
Remember one thing, non-union carriers are not wrecking the industry. Greedy unions, drivers, company owners and management teams are.