Judge Orders Carhaul Company To Reinstate Teamsters, Pay Millions In Back Pay
In a major victory for Carhaul Teamsters, workers at Ford’s Louisville Auto Assembly Plant won their jobs back with 38 weeks’ back pay and benefits.
“This is a huge victory for our members and the Carhaul Division,” said Roy Gross, Assistant Director of the Teamsters Carhaul Division. “The battle was won by coordinated efforts of the International Union, the Carhaul Division, Local 89 and its members. The International Union assigned attorney Jim Wallington to the case and with Local 89 they built an exceptional case to secure this victory. The Carhaul Division will do whatever it takes to protect our members’ livelihoods and we will continue to work hard to protect jobs and enforce contracts.”
The ruling orders that workers who are named in the decision be put back to work, as well as other Teamsters on the seniority list. The company is required to pay back wages and benefits to those workers. However, more Teamsters may win their jobs back if it is determined they are eligible. As of this week, the total back pay would be about $5.3 million plus interest. But that is a conservative estimate since more workers may be found eligible. These figures do not include benefits that will be restored under the order.
National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Administrative Judge Bruce Rosenstein ruled December 21, 2012 that Voith Services, a Ford contractor, conspired with the United Auto Workers (UAW) to replace Teamster-represented Auto Handling workers. The Auto Handling employees performed the yard work (releasing, shuttle and rail loading) at the Ford Louisville Auto assembly plant. Auto Handling is a Jack Cooper subsidiary.
The UAW-represented Voith employees were paid significantly lower wages and benefits compared to the Teamster-represented Auto Handling employees covered by the National Master Automobile Transporters Agreement.
The scheme is spelled out in the judge’s 40-page decision. It explains how Voith, under Ford’s direction, underbid Auto Handling at the plant under a prearranged, substandard contract with the UAW.
“This work had been under a Teamster contract since the early 1950s until this attack on our workers’ jobs took place,” Gross said. “Once we saw what was happening, we went to work to stop these attacks and get our members’ jobs back.”
According to the judge’s decision, Voith also must:
Reinstate the pre-existing Teamster contract;
Notify the Teamsters in writing that it recognizes the Teamsters as the exclusive bargaining representative, and must bargain a new Teamster contract;
Void the substandard UAW contract since it is illegal;
Post the decision on worker bulletin boards and read aloud at worker meetings.
Voith and the UAW have the right to appeal, and we will continue our fight to win justice for these members.
The Teamsters Union will keep you updated on any further developments.
To read the judge’s decision, click here.