Unions In The Trucking Industry!!

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Karl A.'s Comment
member avatar

I have grown up in the South Eastern US and we dont have many unions down here.. I am trying to gain knowledge on unions in general, unions in the trucking industry.. Basically personal options and the pros/cons of both sides.. Appreciate any input

guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar
Best Answer!

Well since you did ask for my personal opinion I will be straight with ya. I hope your wearing your grown up ear....

Back in the days unions had there place in the world. They did good things. However they are seriously not needed anymore. Unions.... I can take them or leave them..... I simply don't see why I would ever need to pay someone a monthly fee just to keep my job for me. If I can earn my job then let me go.

Now to my real problem with unions..... Not the unions themselves but the primadonna employees that the unions have created. Let me give you a very real example since I have to deal with these knot heads (trying to keep it clean) on a daily basis.

I drive for Werner. Werner is my employer and I am very happy working for them. We are an outside carrier for ABF, which everyone knows is Union, and THE UNION, voted... The union members.... Voted to open outside contracts cause they had to much freight and could not keep up with the work load. Great for me since I have come to love pulling double sets of pup trailers. They rock. In the contract it's States in bold and underlined lettering that their(ABF trucks/driver board) trucks must be completely full(meaning they have no trucks left available) before we are able to get any loads. I stay super busy. Yea they have that much extra freight.

Whenever we show up, Werner, you want to know what the first thing out of their months is? "Your taking out loads and we don't have any freight to run?" Wtf? Really? These grown adult children, I refer to them as Mental Midgets due to the stupidity they spout out of their mouths daily, and they know it's not true and it's pointed out right in their contract they ALL signed yet any time they see an outside carrier on their lot they go out of their way to make it known they have the mental capacity of a discarded sardine can in the middle of August.

TThey stand around complaining they don't have the loads yet there will be 40 sets of doubles in any given yard setup for them and all they have to do is get in them and go yet because they don't like where the load is going they have a right not to have to take that load.

Now trucking unions also include dock workers and the yard jockeys. Can't say anything about the dock workers cause I do not deal with them at all. But the yard dogs.... OMFG! Picture a normal yard dog at a normal trucking operation. OK maybe not as that is not the prettiest picture. Ugh! Attitude. Now times that by 100 and you have a union yard dog. Some of them are OK and know we are just trying to do our job but then you have the backwoods mouth breather imbreds that managed to land a union job simply cause his knuckles dragged the ground less than everyone elses in that area.

And don't get me started on how Union drivers treat female drivers from outside carriers. It boarders seriously on assault sometimes.

OK my battery is down to 48% so I had better wrap up cause if I keep on I will need 3 more batteries.

The unions themselves.... They will die out without my help. I can take them or leave them but the people that are employed by the unions I would not give 2 cents to save any of their lives.....

Oh wait. We do not give personal opinions here and try our best to be positive. *grins* THAT ^^^ was being positive concerning my very personal contact with the under belly of society.

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

I guess I should have added a perface to the post but I guess this is better than not at all.....

The above post is my sole opinion of having to deal with a certain type of person that works within the trucking industry. I can't call them truck drivers cause that is a earned title to me. Not just a job description. Yet I digress... It's my opinion and not the opinion, though not so sure, of Trucking Truth. This is based solo on my personal experience and other people's experiences may vary...... Only a little.

I must point out that not all Union employees fit into this post cause there are some very good people in some of the unions. Though I kind of suspect that the ones I talked about kidnap and hide away the good guys in the unions.

guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

Now everytime I think I am done I have to come back for a 3rd posting now....

The above, while truly my personal opinion, is not fair to the mission statement of Trucking Truth.

This next part is about ABF and what I know about them though it's not to far off the mark and ALOT of Union based LTL companies follow the same lines. Now for an unbiased opinion of the unions. They are higher paid than most other trucking jobs. Often home 3 to 4 nights a week or more. Mostly if not whole all LTL type of companies. They do pickup and delivery in towns or nearby town. Some run from terminal to terminal. Some, though not many, are OTR. They have great benefits.

They have very strict time tables they have to keep. And very strict rules they have to follow as outlined in their contract. First starting out there you are not given a route. You work on what is known as an Extra Board. Basically you are on call, day or night, and when their is a load available they call you. There are always extra loads waiting for drivers to pull them. No worries about not having work. Must have doubles and triples and hazmat endorsements. ABF pay is 23.50 per hour and . 53 cents per mile.

As Joe Friday use to say... "Facts... Just the facts". There ya go.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

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

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!
The unions themselves.... They will die out without my help

They'll make a comeback, but not likely in the trucking industry anytime soon.

Right now, U.S. corporations are making the highest profits in history. They also have amassed the largest amount of cash in history.

Here's a quote from an article by the Economic Policy Institute about the wages of upper management versus the rest of the workers:

The average annual earnings of the top 1 percent of wage earners grew 156 percent from 1979 to 2007; for the top 0.1 percent they grew 362 percent (Mishel, Bivens, Gould, and Shierholz 2012). In contrast, earners in the 90th to 95th percentiles had wage growth of 34 percent, less than a tenth as much as those in the top 0.1 percent tier. Workers in the bottom 90 percent had the weakest wage growth, at 17 percent from 1979 to 2007.

So that was a rather clumsy way of saying that from 1979-2007, the bottom 90% of workers have seen a 17% increase in wages while the executives at the top have seen a 156% increase in wages.

In an article by The Wall Street Journal from 2010 they talk about the gigantic cash hordes that corporations have amassed in recent years:

The Federal Reserve reported Thursday that nonfinancial companies had socked away $1.84 trillion in cash and other liquid assets as of the end of March, up 26% from a year earlier and the largest-ever increase in records going back to 1952. Cash made up about 7% of all company assets, including factories and financial investments, the highest level since 1963.

So there's clearly a large disconnect. The increasing wage inequality and large cash hordes that major corporations have amassed is eventually going to send our economy into ruins or stoke the union fires once again. But what we're doing is completely unsustainable if we want to have any sort of economic prosperity and a nice standard of living in the coming decades.

By the way, China just surpassed the U.S. as the largest economy in the world. The question isn't whether or not we're witnessing the slow decline of the American Empire. The question is how far will we fall?

confused.gif

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Woody's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

I dont know how guyjax is the go to guy on unions since he doesnt work for one but ok.

Guyjax i hold my tounge on most of your posts but since you wouldnt give .02 to save a union workers life i guess i will chime in on this one.

Fiest off i find it funny that you talk about the attitudes of union workers. This coming from a guy that gets so butt hurt by someone parking in his spot that he has to block him in instead of parking somewhere else in a lot that was half empty. Blow all the smoke you want but you and i both know you could have parked elswhere even with your sleeper cab but you wanted to be an ass. An even better example was when the recruiter from your company called. You say your just doing your job and dont understand the attitude when you go on a union lot to pull their freight. But you gave her hell for calling you even though you already worked there. Simply because she didnt do a thorough background check on you to see where you were working like she has time to do that on everyone she calls. She was wrong to retaliate the way she did, if that really happened, but make no mistake about it her response was due to you treating her like crap. Some people think saying i speak my mind, i tell the truth, im brutally honest, or any of the other catch frases gives them them a free pass to be an ass and sadly your one of those people.

Saying that unions are no longer needed when wage gaps are at an all time high is insane. The need for united workers and politicians that will acrually stand up for the middle class is more imporfant now than it has been for many years. While i do not agree with everything a union does i know i would not have the opportunity i currently have without them. I do not pay them dues to keep my job, i pay because of the value that being united brings us as workers. You dont pay but you still benefit from unions and if you dont see that your eyes are closed.

EVERYONE didnt sign an agreement to bring hired transportation in to pull those loads and that is a current hot button within the union. Combine that with the huge chip you always seem to have on your shoulder i would not be surprised in the least if you caught flak while on a union lot. I am in our terminal everyday and see outside help all the time. I have never seen one of those drivers berated. Im not dumb enougn to say it never happens, but im also smart enough to know how you like to escalate situations and realize if you get attitude everytime your on the lot there might be a reason.

Im sick of trying to type on this little screen and Im sure ill catch plenty of backlash for speaking out against the great Guyjax so i think i will go now.

Woody

Notiice that even though you came up with several pet names for union workers i refrained from calling you a scab smile.gif

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Woody's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

Woody I have to say representation of the middle class (which is being destroyed) is at an all time high in my lifetime for sure... I agree with that perspective... I also agree with your POV on the income inequality.. How long have you been a union member Woody? How much did you know about unions before you joined one and what are the downsides you could admit to being that you are a union member?

Ive been a teamster for six months so I keep my eyes and ears open everyday to learn about whats going on..

My previous experience with unions was not great. I had been involved with two others. One when i was young and already had my job in construction. Due to working on some union projects i was forced to join. While i wont go into details it ended up with the union BA and I standing toe to toe ready to throw down when my boss kicked me off the job site. My boss had no issue with me or what i was saying but he had to cool things down and it had no effect on my job going forward. The other was a manufacturing job where the employees had the option of joining or not joining the union. I would have to write a book to cover all the issues with this setup.

I have no issue talking about the downsides of a union. There is good and bad, in a good union the plusses far outweighs the minusses. In a poor union you get little value for your investment. Unions go by seniority so workjng your way up can be harder. As guy mentioned to get a premium run in a union shop you have to have your time in. That being said i got a bid run after being in my company for 3 weeks. This does NOT normally happen and i expect to run the extra board after the next bid which i wont mind. When things are slow the senior drivers will be dispatched before lower drivers which i dont have a problem with. There are safeguards in place to make sure junior members still get out and we have plenty of freight.

Being in a union does not mean we get everything we want or get a say in EVERYTHING that goes on. Guyjax saying they all voted to let other trucks pull the freight is wrong. Thats like saying because you voted for a congressman you have agreed to everything congress does. ABF says that the extra board must be exausted before shiny wheels pull yhe freight. YRC says that if based on a 4 week average one of our drivers loses money and was available when hired transportation moved our trailers we get paid for the discrepancy. This does not mean it never happens it just means it has to be caught and a greivence filed agaisnt the company.

While its true a union may make it harder to fire an unmotivated worker it does not totally protect them, which it shouldnt. That still can be a frustration when you see someone that may not have your work ethic.

Vacation time scheduling also goes by seniority so that can be a minus, but again i do not have a problem with it. To me its a form of respect. All of my paid holidays, which includes my birthday, my benefits, my sick days, my pay rate, and the backing i have if i have an issue with my company i have because of the union and the workers that fought for those things before me. So i have no issue giving senior workers their fair place in line.

At first the biggest issue most people would have is with that seniority. But once your time is in its also one of the best advantages. There is a strange thing happening right now in union companies or at least in mine. Just a short time ago i would have had to have at least two years experience to even have a chancd to get hired. But because of so many people retiring and the company regaining freight after the merger they are hurting for drivers. This gives an opportunity to get i. Sooner and move up faster.

I try not to be union biased on these boards. But i also know that I'm 45 and have the best job of my life because of a union. Our middle class is taking it up the keister and people need to stand together even if they are not in a union. We are in an industry that is vital to our country, extremely dangerous, and workers give up time with family and friends to do this job. Yet the pay is way to low for most considering what they do and whag it costs to live on the road. I wish i had a simple answer but there isnt one.

Woody

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

I don't know much about this subject honestly. But Guyjax is the go-to guy for information regarding unions. Let's hope he sees this!

smile.gif

Karl A.'s Comment
member avatar

I don't know much about this subject honestly. But Guyjax is the go-to guy for information regarding unions. Let's hope he sees this!

smile.gif

:) lets hope, I know he has been around trucking for awhile

Doug 's Comment
member avatar

Uh oh .....

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

Uh oh .....

What's wrong ; )

Doug 's Comment
member avatar

I see this ending up in a smoking heap, clean up on isle 3...

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

I see this ending up in a smoking heap, clean up on isle 3...

He's not biting yet.. Hmm..

guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar
Best Answer!

Well since you did ask for my personal opinion I will be straight with ya. I hope your wearing your grown up ear....

Back in the days unions had there place in the world. They did good things. However they are seriously not needed anymore. Unions.... I can take them or leave them..... I simply don't see why I would ever need to pay someone a monthly fee just to keep my job for me. If I can earn my job then let me go.

Now to my real problem with unions..... Not the unions themselves but the primadonna employees that the unions have created. Let me give you a very real example since I have to deal with these knot heads (trying to keep it clean) on a daily basis.

I drive for Werner. Werner is my employer and I am very happy working for them. We are an outside carrier for ABF, which everyone knows is Union, and THE UNION, voted... The union members.... Voted to open outside contracts cause they had to much freight and could not keep up with the work load. Great for me since I have come to love pulling double sets of pup trailers. They rock. In the contract it's States in bold and underlined lettering that their(ABF trucks/driver board) trucks must be completely full(meaning they have no trucks left available) before we are able to get any loads. I stay super busy. Yea they have that much extra freight.

Whenever we show up, Werner, you want to know what the first thing out of their months is? "Your taking out loads and we don't have any freight to run?" Wtf? Really? These grown adult children, I refer to them as Mental Midgets due to the stupidity they spout out of their mouths daily, and they know it's not true and it's pointed out right in their contract they ALL signed yet any time they see an outside carrier on their lot they go out of their way to make it known they have the mental capacity of a discarded sardine can in the middle of August.

TThey stand around complaining they don't have the loads yet there will be 40 sets of doubles in any given yard setup for them and all they have to do is get in them and go yet because they don't like where the load is going they have a right not to have to take that load.

Now trucking unions also include dock workers and the yard jockeys. Can't say anything about the dock workers cause I do not deal with them at all. But the yard dogs.... OMFG! Picture a normal yard dog at a normal trucking operation. OK maybe not as that is not the prettiest picture. Ugh! Attitude. Now times that by 100 and you have a union yard dog. Some of them are OK and know we are just trying to do our job but then you have the backwoods mouth breather imbreds that managed to land a union job simply cause his knuckles dragged the ground less than everyone elses in that area.

And don't get me started on how Union drivers treat female drivers from outside carriers. It boarders seriously on assault sometimes.

OK my battery is down to 48% so I had better wrap up cause if I keep on I will need 3 more batteries.

The unions themselves.... They will die out without my help. I can take them or leave them but the people that are employed by the unions I would not give 2 cents to save any of their lives.....

Oh wait. We do not give personal opinions here and try our best to be positive. *grins* THAT ^^^ was being positive concerning my very personal contact with the under belly of society.

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

I guess I should have added a perface to the post but I guess this is better than not at all.....

The above post is my sole opinion of having to deal with a certain type of person that works within the trucking industry. I can't call them truck drivers cause that is a earned title to me. Not just a job description. Yet I digress... It's my opinion and not the opinion, though not so sure, of Trucking Truth. This is based solo on my personal experience and other people's experiences may vary...... Only a little.

I must point out that not all Union employees fit into this post cause there are some very good people in some of the unions. Though I kind of suspect that the ones I talked about kidnap and hide away the good guys in the unions.

guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

Now everytime I think I am done I have to come back for a 3rd posting now....

The above, while truly my personal opinion, is not fair to the mission statement of Trucking Truth.

This next part is about ABF and what I know about them though it's not to far off the mark and ALOT of Union based LTL companies follow the same lines. Now for an unbiased opinion of the unions. They are higher paid than most other trucking jobs. Often home 3 to 4 nights a week or more. Mostly if not whole all LTL type of companies. They do pickup and delivery in towns or nearby town. Some run from terminal to terminal. Some, though not many, are OTR. They have great benefits.

They have very strict time tables they have to keep. And very strict rules they have to follow as outlined in their contract. First starting out there you are not given a route. You work on what is known as an Extra Board. Basically you are on call, day or night, and when their is a load available they call you. There are always extra loads waiting for drivers to pull them. No worries about not having work. Must have doubles and triples and hazmat endorsements. ABF pay is 23.50 per hour and . 53 cents per mile.

As Joe Friday use to say... "Facts... Just the facts". There ya go.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

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

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

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