• Jun 9th 2008 at 3:29PM
  • 38

Performance Transportation Services (PTS), the second largest car hauler in the United States, is being hit by a strike from the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. The walkout began this morning after a bankruptcy court granted PTS permission for a 15-percent emergency pay cut to the workers.

The Michigan-based transport company has been in trouble for years. Once hired to move upwards of 2.7 million vehicles per year, including 10,400 vehicles per day for General Motors, PTS filed for bankruptcy protection in 2006 and in 2007. Now, with the automotive industry in a slowdown and diesel fuel prices skyrocketing, it needs wage concessions to remain afloat. Without any proposal on the table, the Teamsters walked off their jobs at 24 different facilities this morning. Both Ford and General Motors, who count themselves as clients of PTS, have said publicly that the strike won't immediately affect their shipments of vehicles across the country. PTS also handles some shipments for Toyota and other automakers, all of whom are working on contingency plans in case the strike goes on indefinitely.

[Source: The Detroit News]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      The Teamsters and the Mafia might as well be the same organization. They're that closely tied together.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I have a great idea. Start FLYING people out to the factories to pick up their cars. Even a one way ticket is still cheaper than paying these a holes to transport it.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Putting the final nail on the coffin.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Does anyone know how much these drivers earn? I'd guess $30/hr +? How much does the 15% cut actually represent? Today these guys prevented my $8.00 an hour drivers from picking up cars I own at the railyard in E. Brookfield MA and cost my small dealership about $200 in wasted wages. Plus they prevented me from taking possession of cars I OWN.
      • 7 Years Ago
      My father works for a car carrier company...a big one at that. It is unionized! He's a diesel mechanic. He brags all the time about how little work he does and gets paid big time. He told me a couple days ago....while working on a Sunday getting double time, "all i did was repair a wire that shorted out causing the flasher to not work" It took him 10 minutes to fix it and booked 3 hours for the repair. Thats ridiculous!!!

      So it's not the unions...it's the workers! If they actually worked hard and earned their pay the company may not suffer as much. I may be wrong but we can't blame anyone but ourselves. People are lazy now and have no drive to improve our economy, just themselves. Sad!

      I work my a$$ off everyday and i would not hesitate to take a pay cut to save my job.....did ya hear that..."MY" job. There are other ways to compensate for rising fuel prices and whatever else goes up. For example...cut back or quit smoking, make a coffee at home instead buying one, bottle your own water, ride your bike or walk to the store, etc.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Plus, a little research rather than knee-jerking would probably have lead you to a better answer.


      Directly from the Federal DoE, annual fuel cost averages. It can also be viewed weekly and monthly if you choose.

      So, looking at the average price of diesel( I used the "All Types" figure for simplicity) in 2006, it is 270.5 cents/gal. which is $2.705/gal. Looking at the most recent wekely figure, it is 469.2cents/gal or $4.692/gal.

      So, doing the math, diesel costs 73.5% more now than it did on average in 2006. Plus, if you go back a few more years, the increases are even more significant.

      So, it's no surprise to me that the shipping costs increased as well, just be glad they went up only about 50% when fuels costs actually increased 73.5%.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Sorry, the above was supposed to be a reply, but the system didn't respond to my click on "Reply" I guess.

        This comment system is quite annoying.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Well fault the union and its members for trying to protect their jobs. I wonder how everyone who replied would feel if they were expected to take a 15% pay cut tomorrow... People want to earn a decent living - why doesn't the company start buy cutting the executives' total compensation by 15%... Then I'll be against the strike.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Well, personally anyhow, I can tell you how I would react.

        Though I'd be disappointed to be earning less, 15% wouldn't put a huge dent into how much I make. I did the math, it's a few thousand dollars a year for me and I'd still be able to survive without too many changes. Yes, it would suck, but I would still ahve a job.

        Secondly, I surely woudn't have the option to throw a hissy fit and strike against my employer. They'd just get rid of me and find someone who will work for the decreased pay.

        Third, if I wasn't happy with the decrease and couldn't make ends meet any longer, I'd be perfectly free to look for another job at a more competitive wage.

        But, that would all be too much common sense wouldn't it?
      • 7 Years Ago
      We had a similar situation 3 years ago in Quebec with a unionized poultry processing plant. The plant was losing LOTS of money so they requested a pay cuts which would have made the factory lose less money. Management was not even asking for the plant to cut even, just cut its losses.

      The union rejected all attemps to negociate and save the plant. Plant was closed. Locals were pissed at unionized workers who killed the local golden goose.

      Net effect: nobody won anything. Pure destruction of value for everybody.

      (for more info look up olymel)
      • 7 Years Ago
      Unions need to go.

      If you live in the Bay Area and ever have the pleasure of dealing with Info Booth people in BART (subway) stations and Caltrain, you'd know what I mean. They get angry at you for "bugging them" (even though--you know--it's their job to talk to you). Worse yet, they make $50-60k, without even counting pension, healthcare, which would bring their compensation above $80k. All for a bunch of lazy, attitude-coping people.

      Another example, at AC Transit (Bay Area bus system using union labor), at any point 25% of the workforce isn't at work. That's 1/4th of workers! They're on worker's comp, on extended, leave, or just don't show up. Since public companies view people's jobs as "property" as law, you need a long, drawn-out firing arbitration process to get rid of slobs, even with glaring problems (like being tested positive for cocaine while driving).

      These teamsters are stupid. So they think the alternative of having NO job is better than having a job that pays 15% lower? Unfortunately, simple math fails them.
      • 7 Years Ago
      My Dad is a former teamster and he is pissed at the teamsters!
      • 7 Years Ago

      Striking against a company in emergency near-bankruptcy status is a GREAT idea.

      Object lesson in striking yourselves out of a job, when the company fails.

      And did it ever occur, that perhaps none of the other workers are unionized, and probably have forgone pay raises for a good long time, and probably can't be paid much less than they already are.

      The teamster's Union contracts probably make up the lion's share of this company's payroll, and labor costs are probably the far and away majority cost of business, and the second being diesel fuel, which is also pinching business very hard.

      This company will likely evaporate in very short order under this strike, and then there will be an even bigger problem.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Unskilled laborers are not the target customer base.

        Professionals with actual skills are the real middle class, and the real customer base in America.

        Unskilled laborers should always be at the very bottom of any society.
        • 7 Years Ago
        "Your average worker is suffering because your average teamster, UAW worker, and other unionized workers are selfish, and costing the employer too much, sometimes to the point of bankruptcy."

        Stop defending an industry that's accepted their ways in the first place. -_-

        URRR THEY SELFISH, well f' they have right to be, wages only make a tiny bitsy portion of a car's MSRP. Unions aren't responsible for the automakers' ridiculous decisions and product planning over the last 2 decades, why should they have to pay for it? Because otherwise they'll lose their job? Why isn't the management losing their jobs then, since they're responsible for the situation the automaker's in?

        Think outside the box, they might be selfish, but they have a God damn reason to be. We're not talking about the teachers' unions here, but auto workers who have no to little responsibility to take in what's happened over the last two decades (the so called 'shift').

        That's like having the captain of a sinking ship eliminating its crewmen one by one because he decided to sail in troubled seas.
        • 7 Years Ago
        If your average worker can't make a fair wage, shut it all down. Who is going to buy these cars when 95% of the population gets Wal-Marted into minimum wage. Go Teamsters!
        • 7 Years Ago
        Ah, but see, this is what unions excel at in today's world: they take a small problem and turn it into a very large one.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Without knowing too much of this strike action, it appears as though their employer ended their contract. You can't just walk out whenever you feel like it; there are specific legal obligations.

        But I suppose it's different cultures, but when you can least afford a strike is exactly when you have to go out. You can't let your fears get the best of you, otherwise management will get too much.

        But it doesn't matter: nobody gets something for nothing in this business. Wage concessions come with other benefits, just as those wage increases came with more managerial leeway.
        • 7 Years Ago

        Get a clue. Buy one if you have to.

        Your average worker is suffering because your average teamster, UAW worker, and other unionized workers are selfish, and costing the employer too much, sometimes to the point of bankruptcy.

        Then those "average workers" *have* to shop at walmart to get low enough chinese-made prices to be able to afford what they need.

        Then, when the employer goes under, everyone is out of work, and "it is all shut down", everyone is out of work, which is worse for the local economies, and contracted clients also suffer who relied on the now-bankrupt company's no-longer-offered services.

        So I take it that you like rampant unemployment, and bankruptcy, and all sorts of negative economic ripple-effects. Yeah, go teamsters, put everyone out of business. Maybe walmart will hire the unemployed teamsters at minimum wage, when they are unemployed.

        Get a damn clue, honestly. Selfishness and ignorance is a grotesque pair.
        • 7 Years Ago
        And even with all those concessions they make, their jobs aren't even guaranteed (even if GM said otherwise and is breaching the contract - resulting in future litigations, which aren't going to get GM anywhere - breach of contract cannot be justified by a changing market, they'll have to choke this one up - Wagoner sucks so hard). Made up example: You hand them your retiree plan in exchange for a guaranteed job and they just say 'well the market's changing so disregard the deal we've made... But I'm still taking your plan with me.

        Things like this are a public relations disaster for GM, you have no idea what kind of hit they're going to take in Ontario. What feeling do you get when the US automaker bails out and the Japs come back in and save the day by building more NA plants and offering jobs? Yeah, what I thought.

        You want to protect your economy but at the same time you refuse (I'm not saying that without unions you can't protect workers, but they still do a better job than singled out people who have no chance against a corp. when an injustice is made) to protect your workers, sweet mixed message you're giving there.
        • 7 Years Ago


        They are striking against a shipping company, not GM.

        I hardly think they are being mistreated.

        Take your pick. Unions can take their lumps or lose ALL their jobs. Everyone else has to play by the rules.

        The bullcrap argument about mis-management doesn't hold water. Management of this shipping company, GM, Ford, or whoever else, want to keep the doors open, not screw their workers.

        It seems like unions, UAW and Teamsters, and whoever else, want to cut off their nose to spite their face, and want to amputate the hand that feeds them. That is not an understandable position, it is selfish, greedy, and will end up doing FAR more damage than anything else.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Just like free healthcare and social security, people today think they are entitled to a high paying job for life. Tip, it's in everyone's best interest for a company to make as much money as possible so they can survive during lean times. If you don't like that, don't buy from them, or if you work for them and don't like it, go find another job or start a business.

      Or do like Obama does, and run for office so you can visit all "57" states, happily spending other people's money. Yeehawwww!

      Walking off the job at a near-bankrupt company. Sounds to me like the Union is looking for ways to dump their pension obligations to a lot of gullible workers who have been sold Ugly Big Corporation Neo-Communist Crap for too long.
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