TForce Freight Ratify Contract with Teamsters
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters announced on Monday July 31st, that employees at TForce Freight ratified a five-year contract, with an approval rate of 81% from rank-and-file members. This development adds a bit of stability for less-than-truckload (LTL) shippers following the downfall of Yellow, previously the biggest unionized trucking company in the US. New long-term contracts are now in place for TForce and ABF Freight System, the two leading unionized LTL carriers following Yellow’s demise.
TForce Freight, which generated $4 billion in 2022 annual revenue, has by default become the biggest unionized trucking company in the US. Yellow recorded $5.2 billion in revenue last year while ABF Freight made about $3 billion. TForce has approximately 7,800 Teamsters employees.
TForce used to be known as Overnite Transportation, a company that resisted unionization until deregulation in an industry that was mostly unionized. Overnite was acquired by UPS in 2005 and was later unionized by the Teamsters. In 2021, TFI International bought UPS Freight and rebranded it as TForce Freight.
TForce and ABF combined hold around 12% of the US LTL market share, making $7 billion in joint revenue. The US LTL sector generated a total of $58.9 billion in 2022, including revenue from Canada.
TForce, formerly UPS Freight, had its Teamsters members vote in person and ballots were counted on Sunday. The newly approved TForce contract, like the ABF contract approved in June, entails significant wage increases. Over the span of the deal, full-time local cartage drivers and clerks will receive wage hikes of $4.50 per hour.
Road drivers’ per-mile wages will increase by 9.3% to $0.83 per mile from August 1 through January 2028, according to the Teamsters. The new contract also eliminates split wage increases and two-tier wages, goals that the Teamsters have been pursuing in various contract negotiations this year, including with UPS. The agreement prohibits road drivers from working on docks, a previous point of contention between the Teamsters union and Yellow.
Following the downfall of Yellow, there is now no unionized carrier among the top five LTL companies in terms of revenue, as per data from SJ Consulting Group. Yellow had been one of the top three LTL carriers for many years. The top four remaining LTL carriers after Yellow, namely FedEx Freight, Old Dominion Freight Line, XPO and Estes Express Lines, are all non-union.
With the loss of Yellow, the influence of the Teamsters in the LTL freight sector has been lessened. The Teamsters have not been successful in organizing an LTL carrier since TForce, and seem to be currently concentrating on warehouse organization, spearheaded by their campaign at Amazon, as a way into supply chains.