ABF Freight System, International Brotherhood of Teamsters To Begin Negotiations For Next Collective Bargaining Agreement

FORT SMITH, Ark., Oct. 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- ABF Freight System, Inc., one of the nation's largest less-than-truckload freight carriers, and the Teamsters National Freight Industry Negotiating Committee (TNFINC) announced on Wednesday that they expect to begin negotiations on a new collective bargaining agreement on December 18, 2012.

TNFINC is the negotiating arm of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. ABF is the largest subsidiary of Arkansas Best Corporation (Nasdaq: ABFS) and was founded in 1923. The current collective bargaining agreement, known as the National Master Freight Agreement, expires at midnight on March 31, 2013. It covers approximately 7,800 ABF Teamster employees in various locations across the United States, including road drivers, city drivers, dockworkers, mechanics and clerical personnel.

"We look forward to working together with TNFINC to create an agreement for our future that allows ABF to be more competitive," said Roy Slagle, ABF president and chief executive officer. "Our goal is to reach an agreement that enables us to better compete in a rapidly changing freight transportation market on behalf of our customers, our employees and our shareholders."

About ABF

As the principal subsidiary of Arkansas Best Corporation (Nasdaq: ABFS), ABF operates as a global provider of customizable supply chain solutions. ABF enhances supply-chain efficiencies and achieves optimum performance by focusing on specific logistics needs and customizing innovative solutions. The carrier's resource-rich infrastructure includes an innovative dual-system network for regional and national transportation. Its portfolio of logistics services extends from the manufacturer's floor to expedited and/or white-glove final delivery. In between, customers benefit from a single point of contact and total end-to-end supply chain visibility. More information is available at arkbest.com and abf.com.

Forward-looking statements

The following is a "safe harbor" statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Statements contained in this report that are not based on historical facts are "forward-looking statements." Terms such as "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "expect," "forecast," "intend," "plan," "predict," "prospects," "scheduled," "should," "would," and similar expressions and the negatives of such terms are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Such statements are by their nature subject to uncertainties and risk including, but not limited to, general economic conditions and related shifts in market demand that impact the performance and needs of industries served by Arkansas Best Corporation's subsidiaries and limit our customers' access to adequate financial resources; the successful integration of Panther; relationships with employees, including unions; union and nonunion employee wages and benefits, including changes in required contributions to multiemployer pension plans; competitive initiatives, pricing pressures, the effect of volatility in fuel prices and the associated changes in fuel surcharges on securing increases in base freight rates and the inability to collect fuel surcharges; availability of fuel; availability and cost of reliable third-party services; the timing and amount of capital expenditures; future costs of operating expenses such as fuel and related taxes; self-insurance claims and insurance premium costs; governmental regulations and policies; future climate change legislation; availability and cost of capital and financing arrangements; the cost and timing of growth initiatives; the impact of our brand and corporate reputation; the cost, integration, and performance of any future acquisitions; costs of continuing investments in technology and the impact of cyber incidents; weather conditions; and other financial, operational, and legal risks and uncertainties detailed from time to time in Arkansas Best Corporation's Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") public filings.

Contacts:

For ABF: Mr. Russ Aikman, director of marketing & public relations, 479-785-8913

or Ms. Kathy Fieweger, 847-903-8806

SOURCE ABF Freight System, Inc.



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