December 4, 2008: YRC Worldwide Chairman, President and CEO William D. Zollars said the money saved by the wage concessions sought from the Teamsters union will level the playing field between his company and its nonunion competition.
"This pretty much wipes out the difference between union and non-union in our industry, in terms of our cost-base," Zollars said in an interview this morning with CNBC.
YRC is seeking a 10 percent wage cut from its Yellow Transportation, Roadway, Holland and New Penn subsidiaries and a suspension of cost of living adjustments. In exchange, Teamsters employees would receive a 15 percent ownership stake through YRC stock. YRC estimates the cost savings from the modifications to the National Master Freight Agreement at $220-$250 million annually. A vote on ratification of the agreement by union members is scheduled for later this month.
Zollars said freight levels declined in "double digits" compared with a year ago.
"It's a pretty ugly situation out there. We're just putting ourselves in a position to be able to make it through no matter how bad it gets."
By John Gallagher for Traffic World