Con-way Freight says union vote fails at Bakersfield terminal

Jan. 9, 2015

Workers at LTL carrier Con-way Freight's Bakersfield, CA, terminal voted against union representation this week in an election overseen by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) this week, the company said.

Greg Lehmkuhl, president of Con-way Freight, noted in a statement that the Bakersfield vote marks the fifth election defeat for efforts by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters to organize employees at various Con-way facilities for the past five months.

 “We remain convinced that our path to success lies in maintaining an open, respectful and direct relationship with our employees without the interference of a third party,” he added.

The union did, however, notch a win at the carrier’s Miami Lakes, FL, terminal last month, though Con-way said that vote to date “is not yet certified.”

Con-way Freight maintains that it currently does not have a contract with the Teamsters Union at any of its nearly 300 locations in the U.S.

The LTL carrier further added that the Bakersfield vote follows previous Teamster defeats in elections at its facilities in Santa Fe Springs and San Fernando Valley, CA; Manchester, NH; and Harlingen, TX. The Teamsters also withdrew a petition for a vote at Con-way Freight's facility in Irvine, CA, the company said.

David Ross, a managing director with the transportation & logistics research group at Wall Street investment firm Stifel Nicolaus & Co., said in a recent market update that unionization attempts within the LTL space are “dying down” after mixed success, with less than 1% of LTL workers engaged in such elections voting to be represented by the Teamsters.

“We do not expect this to be a significant issue in 2015,” Ross added.

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