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Mack, United Auto Workers reach tentative agreement to end strike

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Mack Trucks said it will bring its UAW-represented employees back to work as soon as possible, and expects to have its industrial system ramped up to full production in several days. (Courtesy: MACK TRUCKS)

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Mack Trucks Thursday said the company and the United Auto Workers union reached a tentative agreement on the terms of a new four-year agreement that would cover approximately 3,500 employees at six facilities in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Florida.

In conjunction with the tentative agreement, the UAW has ended its strike against the affected facilities, effective 9 a.m. on October 25.

The company will bring its UAW-represented employees back to work as soon as possible, and expects to have its industrial system ramped up to full production in several days.

Further comment by Mack officials is being withheld pending ratification by the various UAW Locals involved in the negotiations. Ratification meetings are being scheduled by the UAW.

The union did comment, however.

“Through great sacrifice, UAW members at Mack have achieved significant gains toward fair pay, benefits and job security protections,” said UAW Secretary-Treasurer and Director of the UAW Heavy Truck Department Ray Curry.

Curry said the strike will be suspended and Mack workers will be scheduled to return to their jobs.

“It is not easy to strike for a member or their family,” Curry said. “It is impressive the unity that Mack UAW members and their families have shown. We can’t thank enough the surrounding communities for the outpouring of support for our striking families.”

The union said details of the tentative agreement will be withheld until UAW members can be briefed prior to ratification.

“Out of respect for our members, we will refrain from discussing details publicly until they can be fully briefed. Ultimately it is our members’ contract, and UAW Mack members will make the final decision as they vote,” Curry said.

Some 3,500 United Auto Workers members at Volvo-owned Mack Trucks walked off the job for the first time in 35 years October 12 at six locations across three different states.

According to the official news release on the UAW’s website, the strike is to protest unfair pay, compensation and benefits for workers and their families.

The locations of the walkouts mainly occurred at the Local 677 union in Allentown and Middletown, Pennsylvania; unions Local 171 and 1247 in Hagerstown, Maryland; Local 2301 in Baltimore, Maryland; and Local 2420 in Jacksonville, Florida.

“UAW members get up every day and put in long, hard hours of work from designing to building Mack trucks,” Curry said in a statement when the union announced the strike. “UAW members carry on their shoulders the profits of Mack and they are simply asking for dignity, fair pay and job protections.”

“We are surprised and disappointed that the UAW decided to strike, rather than to allow our employees to keep building trucks and engines while the parties continued to negotiate,” said Mack Trucks President Martin Weissburg when the strike was initiated. “The positive working relationship between local UAW leadership and management at our facilities was clearly in evidence throughout the negotiations, and progress was being made.”

Mack Trucks is part of the Volvo Group.

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Werner Logistics recognized as Enterprise Business of Year at tech celebration

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Members of the Werner Logistics team include (front row) Rajan Bhattarai, Stacey Richter, Marina Brown, Vajra Anugu, Lavanya Gudimetla, Kim Smith, Padmaja Ravipati and Manoj Eedara; (back row) Andy Damkroger, Ronnie Thomas, Johnny Boykin and O’Brien Chin.  (Courtesy: WERNER ENTERPRISES)

OMAHA, Neb. — Werner Enterprises, a transportation and logistics provider, has been recognized as the Enterprise Business of the Year at the 2019 AIM Tech Celebration.

Werner associate Marina Brown was also named the Tech Champion of the Year.

“Werner Logistics continues to show our ability to differentiate the Werner portfolio with creative and innovative solutions,” said President and Chief Executive Officer Derek Leathers. “It is especially important to acknowledge our talent and culture because without them none of these groundbreaking achievements are possible.”

Leathers said Werner Logistics was named Enterprise Business of the Year for its outstanding application of technology. Other criteria included innovative product/project deployment, groundbreaking ideas or implementations or an outstanding return on technology investment.

The Tech Champion of the Year Award is a special recognition conferred by the Tech Celebration award committee to an individual or group who has contributed their time and talents to AIM and other tech community initiatives to develop tech awareness and skills in others. Brown is an Application Development Manager at Werner.

The AIM Institute, headquartered in Omaha, is an innovative not-for-profit that grows, connects and inspires the tech talent community through career development and educational programs. Through these efforts, the AIM Institute improves thousands of lives across the Silicon Prairie.

Werner Enterprises was founded in 1956.

For more information, visit www.werner.com.

 

 

 

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FTR’s September Shippers Conditions Index Stays in Positive Territory

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September Shippers Condition Index is unchanged over August but forecast indicate upward trend.

Bloomington, Ind.– FTR’s Shippers Conditions Index (SCI) for September remained unchanged from August at a 6.4 reading. All measures included in the SCI were positive with less favorable fuel pricing offsetting more favorable freight volume, capacity utilization, and logistics cost factors.

FTR projects the Shippers Conditions Index to trend towards neutral through 2020 as freight demand softens and capacity utilization firms. The potential impact of a global reduction in the sulfur content of marine fuel due to IMO 2020 remains a wildcard.

Todd Tranausky, vice president of rail and intermodal at FTR, commented, “Shippers’ place in the freight market remains solidly positive as the year moves into its final quarter. We expect shippers’ position in the marketplace to slowly deteriorate in 2020 as capacity tightens and freight demand recovers.”

The November issue of FTR’s Shippers Update, published November 7, 2019, details the factors affecting the September Shippers Conditions Index. Also included in November is an analysis of trucking failures, the total number of carriers operating and the effect on overall capacity.

The Shippers Conditions Index tracks the changes representing four major conditions in the U.S. full-load freight market. These conditions are: freight demand, freight rates, fleet capacity, and fuel price. The individual metrics are combined into a single index that tracks the market conditions that influence the shippers’ freight transport environment. A positive score represents good, optimistic conditions. A negative score represents bad, pessimistic conditions. The index tells you the industry’s health at a glance. In life, running a fever is an indication of a health problem. It may not tell you exactly what’s wrong, but it alerts you to look deeper. Similarly, a reading well below zero on the FTR Trucking Conditions Index warns you of a problem…and readings high above zero spell opportunity. Readings near zero are consistent with a neutral operating environment. Double digit readings (both up or down) are warning signs for significant operating changes.

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ATA For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index declines 0.3% in October

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ATA’s tonnage data is dominated by contract freight, which is performing significantly better than the plunge in spot market freight this year. (The Trucker file photo)

ARLINGTON, Va. —  The American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index declined 0.3% in October after rising 1% in September. In October, the index equaled 118.1 (2015=100) compared with 118.5 in September.

“October’s tonnage change, both sequentially and year-over-year, fits with an economic outlook for more moderate growth in the fourth quarter,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “The ongoing slowdown in manufacturing activity also weighed on truck tonnage last month.”

It is important to note that ATA’s tonnage data is dominated by contract freight, which is performing significantly better than the plunge in spot market freight this year.

September’s reading was revised up compared with our October press release.

Compared with October 2018, the SA index increased 1.7%, the smallest year-over-year gain since June. The index is up 3.9% year-to-date compared with the same period last year.

The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 125.4 in October, 8.4% above the September level (115.7). In calculating the index, 100 represents 2015.

Trucking serves as a barometer of the U.S. economy, representing 70.2% of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods. Trucks hauled 10.77 billion tons of freight in 2017. Motor carriers collected $700.1 billion, or 79.3% of total revenue earned by all transport modes.

ATA calculates the tonnage index based on surveys from its membership and has been doing so since the 1970s. This is a preliminary figure and subject to change in the final report issued around the 5th day of each month. The report includes month-to-month and year-over-year results, relevant economic comparisons, and key financial indicators.

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