ABF Freight strike OK’d, report says

Teamsters, state-based hauler not commenting; contract expires June 30

An ABF Freight truck transports a load earlier this year.

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters has authorized a strike against less-than truckload carrier ABF Freight, a subsidiary of Fort Smith-based ArcBest, according to an industry publication.

In response to emailed questions, a spokesman for the Teamsters declined to comment on the story Thursday afternoon. Requests by email and by phone for comment from logistics company ArcBest were not returned on Thursday afternoon.

A strike authorization vote does not call a strike but it does give the union the ability to do so if the need arises.

The current five-year agreement between the trucking company and the union expires on June 30.

FreightWaves said Wednesday a secret ballot taken by ABF Teamster members covered by the ABF Freight's national master freight agreement authorized a strike but added the move was possibly a negotiation tactic. FreightWaves is a price reporting agency focused on the global freight market, according to its website.

A news release from the Teamsters in mid-May said bargaining had resumed with ABF in Chicago for a new national master freight agreement to succeed the existing five-year contract. The negotiations are covering topics including autonomous vehicles and inward facing cameras in trucks. The release noted negotiations would resume on May 22 in Kansas City.

The majority of the current agreement between the Teamsters and ABF went into effect at the end of July of 2018 and covered only Teamster-represented employees at ABF. It included annual wage increases, ratification bonuses of as much as $1,000, continued health coverage at no added cost, and more vacation time.

In 2022, ArcBest booked net income was $298.2 million, or $11.69 per share, up from $213.5 million, or $7.98 per share in 2021. Revenue for the year was $5.32 billion, up from $3.98 billion the year before. Both net income and revenue broke annual records for the second year in a row, according to the company.

In March ArcBest said it sold its subsidiary FleetNet to Cox Automotive Mobility Solutions Inc. in a $100 million deal. FleetNet provided fleet maintenance and repair services. Judy R. McReynolds, ArcBest chairman, president and chief executive officer said a the time of the sale FleetNet no longer was core to ArcBest's growth strategy.