Hundreds of truck drivers employed by contract mail carrier Pat Salmon & Sons Trucking walked off the job Tuesday when they couldn't reach an agreement with the trucking company over health-benefit costs. The strike has affected much of the U.S. Postal Service's Southwest region, including stations in Dallas, Fort Worth, Shreveport, North Little Rock, Memphis and Albuquerque, theFort Worth Star-Telegram said.
Officials of the American Postal Workers Union and Salmon Trucking have been in contract talks for 18 months. Workers don't now have paid sick leave or personal leave. Talks stopped Sunday after company officials proposed health-insurance premium increases for a family from $400 per month to $600 a month.
Although some trucks were delayed, postal officials said contingency plans were in place to prevent serious delays.
The trucking company has hired temporary drivers through several staffing agencies to deliver mail as the strike continues, said Jeff Boone, vp of Salmon Trucking. The carrier is using three staffing agencies to handle mail in the Fort Worth area, he added.
Salmon officials said that at the affected terminals, only 10 to 20% of the drivers were honoring the strike.