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The Rise and Fall of the Teamsters National Master Freight Agreement

Posted on Fri, Mar 08, 2013 @ 06:13 AM

Teamsters MagazineA Firsthand Account of the History of the National Master Freight Agreement as Told by Hal F. Franke Through His 50+ Years of Service to the Trucking Industry

by Stephen S. Holmes & Robert J. Hollingsworth

The first National Master Freight Agreement (“NMFA”), the primary labor agreement between the Teamsters Union and the motor carrier industry, was signed on January 15, 1964.  The NMFA was the vision of legendary Teamster President Jimmy Hoffa.  It was truly a revolutionary achievement, as for the first time in our country’s history, an entire industry was tied together under one labor agreement. 

At its highest point, the NMFA reportedly covered some 450,000 trucking related employees. Since the signing of that first NMFA, the Teamster organized sector of the trucking industry has changed dramatically. The current NMFA was signed in 2008 and will expire this year and now covers only a handful of motor carriers.  Attorney Hal F. Franke, who was of counsel with Cors & Bassett since the early 1990’s, spent over 50 years in the field of trucking industry labor relations, working as a representative of management. In this role, Hal gained national prominence and participated in the negotiation of every NMFA from 1964 to the current 2008-2013 agreement. 

Sadly, Hal Hal F. Franke, Sr.passed away in September of 2012.  He was preceded in death by Cors & Bassett attorney Paul R. Moran, who was also a leading labor lawyer in his day, and passed away in 2009.  Hal and Paul were long time friends who worked together on many of the major Ohio trucking labor cases.

Cors & Bassett has had a long history in the practice of labor and employment law and representation of motor carriers, which continues to this day.   In honor of Hal’s and Paul’s life and their years of service to the trucking industry, Cors & Bassett members Stephen S. Holmes and Robert J. Hollingsworth have co-authored an article on the history of the NMFA.  This colorful history is written from the viewpoint of Hal who was interviewed extensively by the authors and who gave the authors access to the many thousands of pages of historical notes and documents accumulated by him during his time in the industry. 

To view the article in its entirety, along with photos of Hal, please click here. If you would like a hard copy of the article, please email Steve at or Bob at

Tags: Teamsters, National Master Freight Agreement