September 8, 2008: Freight members and stewards from Chicago Local 705 were on hand to greet Bill Zollars today.
They were outside the Wachovia Bank conference where the YRCW CEO gave his presentation on the planned merger of Yellow and Roadway. Their banner read “Yellow Roadway Corp Worldwide Unfair to Labor. Teamsters Local 705.”
Chicago Local 705 has been in negotiations with YRCW for months for a new freight contract, with the company not willing to meet the union half-way. Members are fed up with no contract since April 1.
The Chicago contract is separate from the national freight contract. While it usually follows the NMFA on monetary matters, Local 705 members are determined to make real gains to protect Teamster freight jobs.
Their concern is this: Once YRCW completely integrates its sales force, then Yellow, Roadway, Holland, and New Penn could simply be vendors that YCRW assigns work to. And they could also assign it to YRC Logistics or another nonunion carrier.
One goal of Local 705 is to get YRCW to be party to the agreement, so the company cannot use a corporate shell game to divert union work. Tim Bodo, a Yellow driver, was quoted in Local 705’s press release summing it up: “It’s time for them to stop playing games when our jobs and our families are on the line.”Today’s announcement of further integration of the company shows that the Chicago Teamsters are very smart to be concerned about job security. We hope the International Union learns something from them.