FORT SMITH, Ark., June 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Arkansas Best Corporation (Nasdaq: ABFS) today reported that its ABF Freight System, Inc., employees represented by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, have ratified ABF's national collective bargaining agreement for the next five years, a critical step in helping return ABF to its historic profitability.
A majority of the supplements to the ABF National Master Freight Agreement also passed. The remaining supplemental agreements that require additional action cover various local work rule and other technical items and do not affect the major economic terms that are covered by the now-ratified ABF NMFA. Voter turnout was strong, with more than 6,100 ballots cast and counted.
"We are very pleased that our Teamster employees have ratified the ABF NMFA, which is a critical step to putting ABF back on the path to profitability while still preserving the best-paying jobs and benefits in the industry," said ABF Freight System President and Chief Executive Officer Roy Slagle. "We know this was a difficult decision for our union workforce, following many sacrifices made in recent years by our non-union employees, and we look forward to resolving the remaining supplements in the near term."
Judy R. McReynolds, Arkansas Best President and Chief Executive Officer, added that the new contract at ABF, once concluded, is just one of many corporate initiatives underway to deliver superior value to customers and shareholders through an expanding array of logistics and transportation solutions."As we near the end of this contract negotiation process, we are looking forward not only to a more efficient, profitable ABF but also to continued strong contributions from our non-asset-based, emerging businesses," McReynolds said. "With the addition of premium logistics provider Panther Expedited Services a year ago and continued investments in technology and people, our emerging businesses are all poised for additional revenue growth and greater cross-selling opportunities both within our existing ABF customer base and throughout the broader transportation marketplace."