Trucking Co.'s Boost Health, Pension In Teamster Pact

February 7, 2003 ( - The nation's biggest trucking companies have agreed to boost their contributions to Teamster health and pension funds and preserve the union's comprehensive health coverage.

Under the tentative five-year pact, known as the National Master Freight Agreement, the truckers agreed to increase their health and pension contribution by $3.10 an hour per worker over five years, according to a Wall Street Journal report. The trucking companies currently pay Teamster members about $8 per hour for health and pension costs.

Keeping its comprehensive health plan intact despite the erosion of such coverage throughout corporate America is seen as an important labor victory, according to the Journal. Under the union health plan, its 65,000 covered members don’t have to pay premiums or deductibles.

Basic wages are also going up. The new contract calls for raising Teamster wages by $2.25 an hour over its five years from the current top wage of $19.90 an hour.

Although the master freight agreement covers a dwindling number of members, it remains closely watched among unions. As such, its provisions on health care could be held up as a model during labor talks later this year at General Electric and at the nation’s automakers.