The Teamsters Union: A Study of Its Economic Impact

By Robert D. Leiter | Go to book overview

Chapter 8
TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCE

UNIONS ARE AFFECTED by changing technology. Generally, they have resisted innovations causing displacement of labor, but the degree of opposition has dependend on the union leaders in charge, the prevalent economic conditions, the work skills involved, and the number of employees concerned. The Teamsters Union has shown a greater inclination than most unions to permit employers to use and experiment with labor-saving techniques and devices.


Piggybacking and Fishybacking

The competition between railroads and motor carriers is nowhere more evident than in connection with piggyback operations, but the links which bind the two industries are made equally clear in these ventures. Piggybacking is intended to combine an advantage offered by railroads, lower unit cost of moving goods between large urban centers in long trains, with one provided by trucks, ability to render door-to-door service. It is ordinarily performed by having a semitrailer pick up the goods to be transported at the factory or store site where the shipment originates, and move them to the rail freight yard. There the trailer portion of the truck is detached and put on a specially equipped railroad flatcar for transmission to the destined city. Upon arrival, the trailer is attached to another cab, which delivers the goods to the appropriate factory or store. In a

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