Teamsters walk off job at Mich. car hauler's facilities
Published: June 9, 2008
Source: Canadian Press

DETROIT About 1,250 employees of Michigan-based car hauler Performance Transportation Services Inc. have walked off their jobs at 24 facilities in the United States.

The walkout at plant sites, ports and rail heads in more than a dozen states began Monday morning and may have an indirect impact on the company's transborder operations to Canada, although the union hasn't struck the Canadian locations.

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters says it's protesting an emergency 15-per cent pay cut granted by a U.S. bankruptcy court judge and what the union calls unfair labour practices.

PTS chief executive Jeff Cornish says the cuts are necessary to compete as the company reorganizes in Chapter 11 protection under the U.S. bankruptcy code.

He says the company is seeking a court injunction to bring the workers back.

Don Bell, vice-president of operations at the company's location in Oshawa., Ont., - where General Motors has its Canadian headquarters as well as car and truck assembly plants, said the Canadian Teamster drivers weren't on strike, only the U.S. ones.

"It is adversely affecting us in the sense that we have lot of cross-border operation to our own company yards. Those drivers are being laid off because we can't cross the picket line," Bell said.

"Inside the Canadian border it's business as usual."

Bell said he didn't know how long the strike would last, but was "optimistic."

Allen Park-based Performance Transportation Services delivers more than four million new and used cars annually.