September 9, 2009: New Penn Teamsters voted by a 890-329 margin to approve YRCW’s concessions, after management and the International union threatened that they would lose their jobs if they once again said no.
It was not surprising that most Teamsters reluctantly voted yes, after the threats that were handed down to the nearly 2000 Teamsters. The concession deal was still rejected in Boston Local 25 and Philadelphia Local 107.
The votes were tallied today, with independent observers present for the count, thanks to previous legal action by Teamsters for a Democratic Union members.
The International union directed its power and authority against the members after the New Penn Teamsters rejected the same concessions a month ago, with a threat of closure as punishment unless the members “vote till you get it right.”
Some trucking analysts regarded the closure threat as an empty one. Stifel Nicolaus Transportation Research reported on September 3 that “We believe this is an idle threat, because it should cost the company more money to do that than to keep New Penn operating as is (and why eliminate a positive EBITDA contributor and risk a large pension withdrawal liability payment and WARN Act payment in this liquidity crisis?). New Penn, in our view, remains the company's most profitable operation.” But with YRCW management, it’s anybody’s guess what they would have done.
New Penn Contract: local-by-local counts
Still to Come: Chicago, Reddaway, Others
Next week the votes will be counted for 130 Holland Teamsters in Joliet Illinois Local 179 who rejected the first concession vote, as did a number of other white paper contract groups.
Chicago Local 705 and 710 YRC Teamsters report that they want to see changes to the deal before they will vote for it, including job protection that would prevent YRCW from pulling a “ConWay” by shifting work to nonunion subsidiaries.
The Hoffa administration has done a “take-over” of bargaining for Reddaway Teamsters in Washington and Oregon, with meetings with management scheduled for this week. Stewards and members report that the International will not get a contract approved unless they listen to the rank and file, and not just carry the water for management.