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1,250 Teamsters go on strike at car hauler PTS

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CEO of strikebound car hauler: Company to close

Friday June 13, 10:30 pm ET

CEO of strikebound car hauler says company will close; union leaders had 'different agenda'

DETROIT (AP) -- Performance Transportation Services Inc.'s president said Friday that the car hauler and its related companies were ceasing operations, five days after 1,250 Teamster-member employees went on strike.

Allen Park-based PTS is North America's second-largest hauler of new vehicles and was operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

In a letter to PTS employees, company president and CEO Jeff Cornish said the bankruptcy court on June 4 authorized a 15 percent wage cut for Teamsters-represented employees for two months.

The company anticipated negotiating a new, long-term contract during that time, but the Teamsters instead went on strike Monday. Both sides met Thursday to discuss PTS' proposal, which Cornish said included salary cuts for both hourly and salaried workers.

"Unfortunately, for reasons we do not fully understand, the Teamsters concluded that it was not in their interest to accept our offer," Cornish wrote.

"Management and many of our Teamster members were willing to make the requested sacrifices to save the company, but the leadership of the union had a different agenda," Cornish added.

Ford spokesman Todd Nissen and Toyota spokesman Xavier Dominicis said Friday evening that the automakers have had contingency plans in place since the Teamsters struck PTS, which is one of many companies contracted to haul vehicles.

"This won't have a bearing initially on our ability to deliver cars out to the customers," Nissen said. Alternatives might include greater use of railroads to deliver vehicles, he said.

Teamsters chief negotiator Fred Zuckerman said in a statement released Friday night that PTS' financial predicament stemmed not from the union's demands but from the company's problems in securing credit.

During Thursday's talks, Zuckerman said, "The company did not provide us with information that was anywhere near adequate to support its demands. ... Their last-second gesture to take just a modest cut in relation to the cuts they wanted our members to take was an empty one at best."

PTS delivered more than 4 million new and used cars annually from 24 facilities nationwide with its fleet of 1,800 trucks for many North American automakers, including General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp.

Teamsters officials said Friday that they were close to a tentative agreement on a national car haulers contract.

PTS was not part of those negotiations.

International Brotherhood of Teamsters chief negotiator Fred Zuckerman said a few economic proposals were left in the multi-employer negotiations.

The sides were to meet next week in Detroit to hammer out a deal.

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I read an article about this that said most of the Teamsters were able to find work at other union shops. All I have to say is WHAT ABOUT THE NON-UNION WORKERS??

They got screwed out of their jobs by the union bastards...

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