USF Red Star Inc., a regional subsidiary of LTL conglomerate USFreightways, has signed a letter of agreement with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters to protect the company from any work stoppage if the current National Master Freight Agreement (NMFA) expires before a new contract is hammered out.

Newark, NJ-based USF Red Star said the agreement, known as a "me too contract," protects the company from any work stoppage or threat of a work stoppage if current NIMFA and Local supplements expire March 31 and no new deal is reached.

The Teamsters have said NMFA contract negotiations with unionized LTL carriers have progressed smoothly so far since talks began Dec. 16 of last year.

The Teamsters said they want to maintain and expand the benefits provided to the 80,000 members covered by NMFA, including provisions to limit subcontracting, boost wages, and improve grievance procedures, while maintaining health and pension benefits.