Is It Good To Work For Unions ?

Topic 19940 | Page 4

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C T.'s Comment
member avatar

Yeah I was told I'd start at 43 cpm for line haul and top out in the 60s low 70s he said. Never heard of company drivers pulling 70 something cpm but who knows. Thanks for all the insight and knowledge guys.

Line Haul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

At West Side, we actually have drivers who are making 60+ cpm.. they've been there a very long time.

Incidentally, while working here I've hauled a lot of ABF and XPO freight. Hey I've not been driving as long and don't get ltl pay, so I'm cheaper lol. In turn West Side will broker out loads to Knight, etc.. why? Because they're cheaper. It's business survival.

I completely "get" what Brett is talking about. I see it and live this stuff daily. The freight gets brokered out to less expensive drivers to lower labor costs and it keeps trickling down. We haul company A's freight, broker our freight to company C, D, or E and so forth. Sometimes we actually haul our own freight too lol.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

Shiva's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

I understand your points Bud. The one point I was trying to make is that I don't see OD or any other LTL lowering their already established wages, or offering lower starting wages to new employees if the unions go away. I just don't see that happening.

double-quotes-end.png

You don't see it happening, and yet it happens all the time. It's been happening in just about every blue collar industry in this country since the 80's. I just gave you an example of a plant in Buffalo that used to pay $29/hr and now they pay $14, and that's one of about 1,000 plants like that. Why do you think they call the Northeast and the upper Midwest "The Rust Belt?" Because it's loaded with old, rusted out dead factories that used to pay great money. Generations of people were raised on those awesome wages and benefits, and now they're all gone.

Do you think anyone saw any of that coming? And in fact it never should have happened.

What do you think Bruce was singing about?

double-quotes-start.png

Now Main Street's whitewashed windows and vacant stores
Seems like there ain't nobody wants to come down here no more
They're closing down the textile mill across the railroad tracks
Foreman says these jobs are going boys and they ain't coming back
To your hometown

double-quotes-end.png

Bud just gave you an example from a completely different industry, the packing business, where wages used to be high but aren't anymore.

The bottom line is simple. Your job isn't going to go away, but your job pays 50% more than almost any other trucking job in the country for one reason only - the unions. That's the one and only reason and that's not an opinion, that's a fact. And when the unions are gone, so is the one and only reason for your company, or any of the others in your sector, to pay 50% more than anyone else in the industry is paying.

You're home every night, you don't touch any freight, and you just shuttle trailers between terminals. Why would that pay more than any other trucking job out there? It shouldn't. And you know it, and I know it, and the people who run LTL companies know it.

Trust me, millions of families throughout the rust belt didn't want to see it coming either. Detroit, Buffalo, Cleveland, and many other cities are half dead now when they used to be some of the most thriving cities in the country. I lived through it when my dad and most of my extended family lost their jobs in the 80's. So you can call my personal life experiences conjecture if it makes you feel better about the long term prospects of your job. But I know first hand what happens when the unions lose their strength and you will too if it ever comes to that.

And I'm not being hostile in the least. I'm just telling you what I know from my personal life experiences.

What Brett said

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar

...So you can call my personal life experiences conjecture if it makes you feel better about the long term prospects of your job. But I know first hand what happens when the unions lose their strength and you will too if it ever comes to that.

And I'm not being hostile in the least. I'm just telling you what I know from my personal life experiences.

I wouldn't call your personal life experiences conjecture Brett. I would say it's conjecture when applied to the LTL sector. I hope it doesn't happen.

I don't think you're being hostile either. I appreciate your shared experiences.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

I certainly hope it doesn't happen either! That's for sure. I know you're in an awesome situation and you wouldn't trade it for the world, and I don't blame you.

But from a business perspective I don't see anything special about the LTL sector that would protect it from the same fate as the rest of the unionized sectors of this nation have suffered if the unions lose their strength.

And I meant to say that you do make a good point about 401k vs a pension. I would much prefer a 401k. I would always choose having control over my own money and have my money in my own personal account over any other option. Once I've earned my wage you can hand it over and I'll take it from there, thank you. I'll let you know if I need any help, but trust me, I won't.

smile.gif

I hope nothing changes where you're at but do all you can to understand the reality of the situation and learn all you can from everything that's happened in the past. The business world is nothing if not volatile and ruthless. It's one of those "hope for the best but prepare for the worst" type of scenarios.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Pitkin's Comment
member avatar

Hi guys.This become really great topic and Im happy you guys really told us what you think.I need to choose my own destiny but it is good to know your experiences and especially what you all think.I believe that unions are not as strong as they used to be and it could all go south with them.Thank you guys so much and hopefully i will be able to find something that fits me.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Shamushuffle's Comment
member avatar

It's hype because you don't need to go to a unionized LTL to get the benefits of the wages - exactly as I said. Hype by its definition is some sort of exaggerated claim of benefit, perhaps even an exaggerated promotion of sorts. Unionized LTLs don't have an edge over the non-union shops. And it's certainly hype to assume that you have to go to a unionized LTL to reap the benefits of higher wages. I'm under no misguided notions that I haven't benefited from the presence of union in LTL, but I don't need to work at a union shop to enjoy the higher wages. You've got nothing to argue about here Brett. I'm of the same mind.

As I mentioned, I understand why you made your statements, but for me it's conjecture because I've never seen a trucking company rescind or decrease wages. An established, national trucking company, to my knowledge, has never actually decreased its wages. Keeping up with the times is something entirely different. I don't see my cpm being slashed if unions went away. I don't think that's wishful thinking. I already have a higher cpm than some union LTLs. My non-union company isn't simply trying to keep up with union shops. If the unions went away at UPSF, ABF, NEMF, and YRC, I just don't foresee my cpm suddenly being slashed. That would be extremely drastic.

Ok, SixString, Walmart just decreased wages for new hires to .38 cpm and froze wages of their drivers. You took a pay cut the moment you went to a non-union company in the following ways: They cut 10% of your actual miles using the household movers guide. They take 2.5 cpm by forcing per diem upon you. They offer junk insurance with your contributions out of each paycheck and the policy includes hundreds and thousands of dollars in deductibles yearly as well as the out of pocket expenses for hospitalization. An insurance plan that only pays 80% of major medical costs is not insurance but a scam to keep you in debt and dependent upon your junk job with your junk insurance nearly bankrupting you. Why would you pay $ out of every paycheck for "Bronze" insurance when you can get platinum insurance at no cost with a union? You haven't seen a company decrease wages? Open your eyes, Walmart just did it. Are you going to tell me that Old Dominion pays overtime? The OD people I talk to do NOT get overtime. SAIA only pays overtime after 45 hours. Estes after 50 hours. At these companies I just mentioned, they regularly force drivers to break the law or they get fired. Many times I've had to work over 18 hours delivering freight at these non-union companies. UPS and ABF have just about finished negotiating new contracts with significant increases in pay, vacation, and pension contributions. UPS is going up to $34.79 per hour whereas Old Dominion is around $27 per hour. How much are you paying for your bronze insurance plan? My platinum insurance plan is free with very low deductibles and out of pocket expenses. I get overtime the moment I work outside my bid. Please submit some comparisons. Thank you

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

Per Diem:

Getting paid per diem means getting a portion of your salary paid to you without taxes taken out. It's technically classified as a meal and expense reimbursement.

Truck drivers and others who travel for a living get large tax deductions for meal expenses. The Government set up per diem pay as a way to reimburse some of the taxes you pay with each paycheck instead of making you wait until tax filing season.

Getting per diem pay means a driver will get a larger paycheck each week but a smaller tax return at tax time.

We have a ton of information on our wiki page on per diem pay

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar

You know nothing as to how OD operates, they DO NOT force anyone to break any laws, infact doing so is grounds for termination.

I have been there a year and am at .64 a mile and 28.50 a hour when on the clock.

You sound like on of those bitter YRC union dinosaurs who cant let go of the past.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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