New Contract Negotiations

Discussion in 'New England Motor Freight' started by jmsconstantino, May 13, 2008.

  1. jmsconstantino

    jmsconstantino Member

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    This new contract will work for us. The raises are there they are just on the back end. The pension plan will put us into LTL competition for quality employees. I think that what will happen is turnover will slow down. The raises are comparable to the teamsters. Please look at the future. Although we opened the door to paying for our healthcare it is at minimal cost. I really think the old man stretched his pockets to approve this proposal.
     
  2. imported_billybigrigger

    imported_billybigrigger New Member

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    I would have to say i can live with the pay raises even through we have to wait a year to get our next raise. But i will have to vote no to any contract that has a copay for this crappy health care plan. If you figure the no raise for a year that mean no overtime money that should more than cove the cost of this health care copay. only my opinion and i'm not *****ing about going the extra year only the healthcare i through the bc/bs was a pain in the butt until you have to deal with uhc most doctors don't even accept it and we have told our business agent.
     
  3. jmsconstantino

    jmsconstantino Member

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    This healthcare plan is supposed to be exactly the same as bc/bs. if there is any difference call your business agent, and HUMAN RESOURCES. It can and will be corrected there is supposed to be NO change in copay or prescription cost. get with your steward, and business agent.
     
  4. Hawks9718

    Hawks9718 Member

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    Like I said before... Putting your full faith in a company pension plan to retire is like following the Pied Piper to doom. United Airlines, IBM, Bethlehem Steel... Any of these names ring a bell?

    I'm not sure how it's gonna work, if you select a Pension over a 401k or vice versa, or if your allowed to have both. But if you can only choose one and you pick a pension, do the smart thing and open up your own Roth IRA and start putting money into it. After your 58-1/2, you can start taking distributions tax free.

    Don't think that just because they are offering a pension, it's gonna be there for you 30 years from now.
     
  5. jmsconstantino

    jmsconstantino Member

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    agreed

    I agree 100% I will have both because I believe that I should be the one preparing for my future not my company or the government. I pay myself and my children first b4 I pay any bills. This pension is a good deal, Am I putting all my eggs in one basket NO WAY I do not trust anyone with my future but myself. I hope it is there in 30 yrs. There is a much better return on this employer contributed fund than I would get on the money severance fund.
     
  6. imported_BuffaloTinMan

    imported_BuffaloTinMan New Member

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    Wow!!

    :chairshot: Let me try to start this with the positives of the tentative agreement. The pension. Nice start.. Now that I'm done with the positive lets move on to everything else.

    In regards to the pension, granted the IAM NPF will be a more effective way to invest our weekly contributions and will yield a much better payout than the severance package currently, HOWEVER has anybody realized that currently NEMF contributes 2.00/hr for every hour worked and the new contract pays only $1.50. That is .50 less out of the company's pocket per hour per employee. Where is that money going?

    Maybe better medical? Wrong. $20 per week starting next year through the rest of the contract but only for current employees. Medical for new employees will be $32.50 per week in 2012 for new hires and you can guarantee all of our rates on next contract will be more than that since we will already be conditioned. Oh and as far as medical try twice the co-pay at a doctor’s office. That’s right it will now be $20 per visit instead of ten. Hmmm?? Prescriptions? Nope no help there they will now carry a co-pay of between $10-$35 per script. Well I guess we can't be too upset since everybody now days has to pay for medical right. After all we are being told we are getting a good deal :butt kiss:

    So back to the .50 less per hour retirement contribution. Maybe it’s being made up in the form of a raise. WRONG no raises for top rate employees. If you’re not at top rate you are entitled to the same treatment as a new person now getting hired. That’s right.... the "4 year progression period" 1 year %75, 2 years %85, 3 years %95, & yes finally after 4 years you get top rate. This must be industry standard for union companies if so many are willing to agree. Nope... unions typically go to top rate in half that time.

    So I have to ask. Why is the company not offering top rate at their signing as in previous contracts. Why is the company offering no raise this year and only a total of roughly %17 throughout the end of the contract when cost of living is expected to raise at least %22 over that same time frame. That means what you can afford now, by the end of the contract you won't be able to afford because our raises don’t keep up with cost of living. Why is the company willing to give nothing, pass more costs onto us, & pocket more of our retirement money? (Maybe it’s because of fuel or maybe not since fuel surcharges are passed onto the expense of the shipper and through trickle-down economics right back to the customer who with our ever increasingly smaller paycheck, will be us).

    So my final question is why do we all hear everyone complaining at every terminal yet have so many union employees willing to say yes to an agreement that is substandard to the expectations of a union job. Is everybody really that happy and just ***** for the sake of hearing their voice? Are all senior drivers willing to remain content to cruise through the remainder of their time and negotiate better private deals (etc. equipment, runs). Or is everybody simply bamboozled by this pension propaganda and afraid that the deal is either this or nothing. We all have to share a common goal remember everybody started at the same place. If we fight to preserve these opportunities, we will all end up in the same place. Don't be scared into voting yes for this sub-adequate agreement. If you are afraid to stick up for your right, & afraid to say NO, Then the very thing you fear will happen, will happen even sooner than if you fight. Then when we are all looking for jobs elsewhere there will be no good union jobs left because employees elsewhere may have also feared their company and resigned to their company's will. Let’s not resign what unions have fought many years to create and preserve. We are not being greedy, but just asking for a fair deal in which everybody benefits by the honorable, professional service that we provide everyday.

    Thank You & God Bless.

    P.S. Teamsters striked in 1997 and UPS quickly settled their next 2 contracts. UPSers now earn $8.00 more per hour in my local than NEMFers plus free medical, no co-pays & twice the pension. I realize they are a much larger beast but let this be an example of the strength in numbers. If we except this deal we can only complain at ourselves.
     
  7. Hawks9718

    Hawks9718 Member

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    Buffalo, great points all around. But, in regards to your point of;

    I really believe it's cause a lot of these guys don't know any better. For instance, at my terminal when the IAM came in and started talking everyone rushed out to sign their cards, "OMGOMGOMG We're savedd!!111," was the general attitude. They don't realize that this is a substandard union, and will do little to back up employees the way a union does (or did).

    If we went on strike, Shevell could simply close the terminal down. The IAM isn't going to march into hell for us. I could really care less anyway, a man has a right to operate his business as he see's fit.. And if that business is no longer profitable.. Heh, your SOL. The benefits of being a private company not responsible to shareholders...

    Anyway, kinda off on a tangent.. but the bottom line is this is not a great contract, because it's not a great union. But i'd much rather have a job, then gripe, moan and complain about a piddly raise in 1,3 and 5 years.
     
  8. imported_BuffaloTinMan

    imported_BuffaloTinMan New Member

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    Hey Hawk. I just want to makemyself clear on something. I wasn't saying anything negative about the union IAM in general. IAM is a large union and I am sure they have strength but my point is that it is only what the members make it. ex: You can't have a strong military with weak minded soldiers. Also nothing against Mr Shevell. Very smart man & being a private owner obviously he wants to negotiate the best deal on his behalf. The bottom line is the member (our co workers have to take a close look, ak questions, & fully understand what this mean for everyone. If the verdict by majority is YES I can live with it. I do enjoy a nice lifestyle with this job, & I guess I won't have to listen to others complain anylonger since they are so happy with the new deal. LOL
     
  9. jmsconstantino

    jmsconstantino Member

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    tin man and hawks
    what I think that you may not be seeing is 1.50 is worth more than 2.00. Let me explain, the old man is now going to contribute on your days off which he has never done b4. also the pension gives you $ each month not a lump some. Also the money that is in your severance fund is still there accruing interest. so you will also get a check for that. I do not think that this a super proposal but like you guys I live an ok lifestyle I will not turn down this contract because I want the pension. Be very careful about healthcare cost my wife is a member of a nurses union and they pay 150.00 a week for healthcare. I know that it seems that our healthcare is horrible but look around and see what else is out there (not much) for what we are going to pay. I dont know about you but 20.00 aweek b4 tax looks to me like I am only really losing 15.00 ou of my pocket. I will just not eat at mcds once a week.
     
  10. imported_BuffaloTinMan

    imported_BuffaloTinMan New Member

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    JMS I do see the picture. Just want to point out some details. As far as pension. Yes it will be worth more just because it is allocated smarter. My point is that with the new contributions even with the company contributing for personal,sick,vacation, &holidays the company will contribute $3,120 in year one. This past year without paying us for the days listed above but with a contribution rate of $2.00/hr the company contributes $3,840. difference of $720 per year. I am just pointing out where next year & every year after we will make less than every previous year. The contract does not keep up with cost of living nor is it making a fair attempt to reqard those who have chose to stay here. Pension is good but why not start off contributing $2.00/hr. How hard would it be to negotiate what we already have. Again, progression, why change whats not broken. Medical, ok I understand this one. Medical has become an out of control beast for everyone in this country so I'll spare everyone this preaching.
     
  11. jmsconstantino

    jmsconstantino Member

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    I did not sit and figure it like you did. I also agree that the entire industry we work in dosen't meet the cost of living and I'm feeling it also. I do wish that we could have negotiated more, I would love to see a raise this year. I'm chokin' on gas just like everyone else. I believe this company is also, we all know that a-lot of our big$ accounts only pay a small % of the fuel surcharge. I see where you are coming from, I also own a small business with employees so I also see it from a business standpoint. I just hope that by opening the door to paying for healthcare does not bite us in the arse.
     
  12. imported_BuffaloTinMan

    imported_BuffaloTinMan New Member

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    Hey Jim, Thanks 4 all the discussions. :Duel: It helps the tough times to atleast talk about it. I can personally live with this deal although I do know others that can't. Half of the linehaul in my terminal have been awaiting a long time for the top rate. On this issue alone is why myself and many others will be voting NO. The rest is just leverage which we should be using to get top rate and our YES vote.

    Like I said eithr way I can & will live with it. It's just that I will be a little dissappointed that I allowed myself to get my hopes up ahead of this contract coming.

    Anyways, have a Great Day & Good luck with your own business. I hope you succeed with that.:highfive::3dflagsdotcom_usa_2
     
  13. jmsconstantino

    jmsconstantino Member

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    It's a small seasonal business but I have 3 children and a home so I try not to put all my eggs in one basket. I enjoy debating especially when its friendly. Good luck to you guys. I hope that things work out.
     
  14. ganis

    ganis Member

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    Clarification on Pension Contribution Issue

    Tin Man, you are attempting to compare Apples and Oranges here. The IAM National Pension is a Employer Contributed Defined Benefit Pension, whereas our current Pension Plan is an Employer Contributed Tax Deferred Defined Contribution Annuity Plan. Our Current Plan will yield one lump-sum total amount, less taxes, one time after we retire or terminate our employment.
    The Annuity used to allow you to break the proceeds into monthly payments, but that has been discontinued. The IAM National Pension, 113% fully funded and the sixth-best Defined
    Benefit Pension in the country right now, will provide you with a monthly income for the rest of yours and your spouse's lives.
    Since you did provide us with a mathmatical example of your objection, I wish to counter with my own.
    I am 55 yrs old and the Pension Plan sent me a projection that tells me I can expect to see a small monthly payment from the Pension of approx. $700.00/mo.
    if I retire at age 65. I hope I will live until age 75, so that means I am looking for a minimum of 10 years of Pension Payments. Ten years of $8,400.00/yr or $84,000.00! I have already been in the Annuity Plan for 11 years and have accured only $31,000.00.
    Bear in mind that we are starting at $1.50/hr but we will see a contribution increase each new year of this new proposed Contract. Also, the projection I was sent was prepared using a conservative $ .25/hr increase every three years, not $ .15, $ .10, $ .15, $ .10 in years 2 through 5.
    You will get a projection in the mail also, so it will give you some idea what you can expect to earn from this excellent Pension. Lastly, we all expect that in future contracts we will be able to get our employer to increase the Pension contribution rate. Hopefully I can get $100,000.00 in my last 10 years, to add to my social security benefit
    Regarding the other most-important concern you voiced "Getting to Top Rate". Everyone who is here, in-progression at the signing of this Contract, will get to top rate. However, the progression is four years, so you will get a progression raise each year until you are at top rate. If you are at or past your 4th anniversary date, you will go to top rate at the signing of this Contract. If not, you will get a progression raise each year (along with negotiated raises in years 2-5) until you are at top rate.
    Finally, I totally understand your disappointment with the Company's refusal to provide us with a meaningful raise in the first year. I would have liked to have seen some money in the first year, even if it was a small raise. However, this is a very bad economic climate that we are in, to be asking for raises right now. Management and Supervision have had their wages frozen for the past 8 or 9 months, so I'm not surprised that the Company offered us nothing either.
    Look around you. The Company generally buys new power equipment every 2-3 years.
    The last new tractors were purchased 3 years ago, so it's time to order some more. NEMF is debt-free and the Company owns 99.5% of the real estate. The owner has his way of doing things and has done it "his way" for more than 25 years. Our Company is still here and we are lucky for what we have.
    Maybe the Teamsters were not 100% happy with what they got at Contract-time either? They got very small raises and we actually fair better than they did, overall.
    If you can't see anything to be optimistic about, I'm sorry.
    I believe we should all look past this Contract and hope that the next time we negotiate, the economic picture is better. Anyway, I'm too old and set in my ways to think about starting over somewhere else. If the grass is greener somewhere else for you, good luck. :smilie_132:
     
  15. imported_billybigrigger

    imported_billybigrigger New Member

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    ganis, i can live with most thing in this contract however the insurance needs to be fixed. not only do they want us to pay for it but its going in the crapper 20.00 copays and raising our drug copays if were going to pay 1000.00 a year it should have at least been left alone i know that when we change plans to uhc it must have saved the company a lot of money over horizon bc. fix the insurance and i'll change my vote
     
  16. imported_BuffaloTinMan

    imported_BuffaloTinMan New Member

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    Hey George thanks for the response. I can't argue my point yet again so I'll surrender at this point.

    My only response to what you have wrote is that you only hope to live to 75. Well I hope you & the rest of us live to a much older & healthy age. That I will be optimistic about even though statistics show that the average truck driver's life span is 61 years old which is 15 years less than the rest of the population. I am hopeful that because our job is far less strssfull and a more consistant time schedule than the truckin industry in general, we will all live past those figures. I am much younger than you. My projection in IAM NPF would be 3400 per month at age 58. I do understand your point George.

    PS.
    I know there may be greener grass out there, however walking into a great job isn't as easy as planting sod, & I'm not looking to start growing grass. LOL In all honesty this is the best job that I've walked right into. I started making a great living to support my family with right on day 1. I had worked at UPS in the past for 10 years. There, it is feast or fammon for many years & you have to be married to the company. That is tough on a family. In conclusion, I am HAPPY HERE!!

    Have a GREAT DAY :clap:
     
  17. ganis

    ganis Member

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    Billybigrigger,
    I agree that our Medical Insurance leaves something to be desired. However, we need to use the term "Contribute towards" instead of "Pay for". I choose to believe the Company when they claim that their cost for each employee went up to over $1,000.00 per family with Blue Cross BS. So I understand that they made a decision that they can no longer absorb the cost completely, as they did in the past. I would have been more satisfied if they kept Blue, improved on it and made us "contribute " more money per week. Some of our Company's competitors charge the employees $40, $60, $80, or more per week and they offer multiple choice Plans.
    I have a friend working at Fedex Freight. He has purchased the top Family coverage being offered (he has two small children) and he "contributes" $85.00 per week for just the medical and prescription coverage. I guess the Company figures that most people would feel they couldn't afford to have that kind of a deduction from their paycheck each week?
    Look on the bright side of this, we "locked-in" at free in year one and $20.00/wk in years 2-5.If anyone has a spouse with better coverage available, they can probably "opt out" of this
    plan. Otherwise, it comes back to the same thing, find what you want at another Company and go. It seems like I am completely siding with the Company here, but not really.
    We all need to understand that all Companies are "for-profit"
    enterprises, not "social experiments". I hope we can get them to improve on what they are providing us with, the next time around. However, I think that the current trend is irreversable.
     
  18. jmsconstantino

    jmsconstantino Member

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    Went Through At 52!!!!!!!!!
     
  19. tracerprix

    tracerprix Member

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    I am glad people are not screwing up the pension. We finally got it!! Did any of the guys in progression get some sort of a raise? Us at 55 are supposed to vote by July 1st, but I have no heard anything after the proposal.

    Mike
     
  20. jmsconstantino

    jmsconstantino Member

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    Those that are in progression will get "progression" raises on their anniersary dates, there will be no contractual raise this year. What that means is that if your anniversary date has passed you will not get a raise at contract time, however when your anniversary date comes around again you will recieve a pretty hefty raise, then you will also recieve contractual raise in 2009 and continue to see anniversary raises on those dates until you are at 100% at least that is how it works with us.
     

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