A new, five-year union contract went into effect Tuesday at TForce Freight after workers voted to ratify it.
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters’ roughly 7,800 members at the LTL carrier voted in favor of the agreement by an 81% majority, accepting the largest wage increases in the contract’s history and protections against subcontracting and technology, the union announced Friday.
The contract, which union leaders unanimously endorsed last week before sending to rank-and-file members for a vote, expires on July 31, 2028.
“Teamsters at TForce have set a powerful example for how to take on the employer and win a strong agreement,” Teamsters General President Sean O’Brien said in a statement. “Over the next five years, TForce workers will continue to establish better standards for freight under this contract, including the most lucrative economic package in the industry and vital protections for technology, pension, health care, and safety.”
The contract represents a 3% increase in costs for the carrier every year, said Alain Bédard, chairman, president and CEO of TForce Freight’s parent company, TFI International, on a Q2 earnings call Tuesday.
Employees will get an immediate $1.70 increase, Bédard said, which he noted was a tough sell after a $3.50 increase recently announced by a competitor.
“That was difficult to explain to our employees,” the TFI CEO said. “What we have to explain to our employees is that, ‛Yeah, OK, $3.50 is not the same as $1.70. But don't forget that at the peers, these [workers] are getting, on average, about $4 less an hour versus us.’”
The deal includes increases of $4.50 per hour over the course of the next five years for full-time local cartage and clerks. Industry-leading increases to mileage rates for drivers will start at $0.7557 in August and increase to $0.8257 by January 2028, the Teamsters said.
The contract requires TForce Freight to increase health, welfare and pension plan contributions.
The agreement also includes prohibitions on “invasive technology,” the union said, describing a ban on discipline from cameras and the use of robots, driverless vehicles, drones or other technology to move freight or replace drivers, clerks or dockworkers.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day has been added as a paid holiday, and all newly purchased equipment and vehicles must have air conditioning, according to the union.
The deal also adds two more discretionary days, increasing the minimum of paid days from four to six. It prohibits TForce Freight from counting shuttle and drayage work toward the guarantee covered under the agreement, and does not allow the carrier to require road drivers to work the docks, except for its current mini-hub operations.
The contract protects TForce Teamsters from subcontracting, and it puts in place penalties to ensure rail and subcontracting return to the bargaining unit, the union said.
“Our members at TForce have spoken loud and clear, and they overwhelmingly agree this new contract will deliver massive economic gains and non-economic improvements,” Teamsters National Freight Director John Murphy said in a statement.