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WASHINGTON--The Carter administration said yesterday the wage increases agreed upon by the Teamsters union and trucking industry fall within the President's anti-inflation guidelines.
The union and trucking industry announced the contract agreement late Tuesday, ending a 10-day nation-wide trucking shutdown.
"The settlement is within the administration's voluntary pay standards," Alfred E. Kahn, President Carter's economic advisor, said yesterday.
Although the union and trucking industry announced the contract settlement would lead to higher labor costs of about 30 per cent over three years, the administration officials disagreed saying the contract only leads to a 26.5 per cent three-year increase in labor costs.
Carter's voluntary anti-inflation program calls for a 7-per-cent annual ceiling on wage and fringe benefit increases, which equals a 22.5 per cent increase compounded over three years.
The administration's calculations involved subtracting several increases exempt from the guidelines to lower the total labor cost increase, administration officials said.
Industry officials agreed with the administration that the contract's wage and fringe benefits increases fall within the guidelines.
Billions of Bucks
Frank Fitzsimmons, Teamsters union president, refused to say whether he thought the increases fell within the guidelines, leaving that to the government. "I can't figure their arithmetic," Fitzsimmons said after the contract settlement Tuesday.
Union members must ratify the agreement in a process that takes four to six weeks. "I'm sure that they'll be satisfied with this agreement," Fitzsimmons said.
Union officials say the possibility that the members will reject the terms of the contract is remote.
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