WASHINGTON-The three-week Teamsters strike officially ended the weekend of April 29, causing only minor inconvenience to all except the retreading side of the rubber industry. But there were indications the new national agreement between the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and 22 trucking companies might not hold. Some 400 union local officials refused to endorse it, sending it to their 70,000 members without comment.
Teamsters President Ronald Carey said the local officials' actions were politically motivated and an attempt to discredit his leadership. Seventeen of 20 members of the union's negotiating committee, Mr. Carey noted, had recommended ratification.
The four-year agreement increases Teamster pay by about $1.30 an hour from the current $17 and benefits by about $1.90 an hour. The union effectively killed a proposal to allow the companies to hire part-time dock workers at $9 an hour without benefits.
Local officials, however, were upset by the provision to allow more intermodal (truck and rail) shipments and the loss of the union's long-standing right to strike over any grievance.
Mr. Carey said the union rank and file would vote on the agreement in about four weeks.
In general, rubber makers reported little disruption of product delivery or raw materials shipments due to the strike, which began April 6. Goodyear said its shipping policies protected 95 percent of its incoming and outgoing shipments.
Similarly, natural rubber traders reported little trouble. ``One customer said one shipment was tied up,'' said Frank Raniolo, president of Alcan Rubber & Chemical Co. and the Rubber Trade Association of North America. ``But by and large, we experienced no problems at all.''
Most tire dealers also were able to avoid dwindling supplies by using independent truckers. ``I don't know what (the Teamsters) think they're accomplishing with the strike, but we haven't had a problem,'' said Ralph Schissler of Atlantic Tire, Baltimore.
Retreaders were most at risk since they depend on trucking fleets as regular customers, as well as for shipments.
Though most major retreaders have their own trucking fleets for hauling casings and finished retreads, a few companies still felt the pinch, according to industry spokespersons.
Treadco Inc., Fort Smith, Ark., halved production at its plant in Pine Bluff, Ark. Roadway Tire, the Columbus, Ohio, retread subsidiary of Roadway Express, laid off nine of 30 employees and cut workers' hours.