Teamsters at ABF Freight System rejected a 15 percent wage cut by a solid majority, sending the less-than-truckload carrier and union back to the negotiating table.
The ABF employees rejected the proposed wage cut 56 percent to 44 percent, with about 80 percent of the company's 7,400 union workers participating in the vote.
The rejection of a wage cut and gain-sharing plan negotiated by the international union will make it tougher for ABF to return to profitability, transportation analysts said.
ABF, the country's fourth-largest LTL carrier, lost $99 million in 2009, compared with a $45 million profit in 2008. It had an operating loss of $35.7 million in the first quarter.
Read more: ABF Teamsters Reject Wage Cut / Journal of Commerce