July 1, 2010: Will YRC Teamsters start earning pension credits again when the concession agreement expires?
When the concession agreement with YRC expires on December 31, will Teamsters start getting pension credits again? This question is critically important to thousands of Teamsters and to our union’s future in freight.
The International Union is aiming to get some partial pension payments out of YRC. On the June 29 IBT conference call, James Hoffa said they hope to re-start pension payments “in some fashion,” and Freight Director Tyson Johnson said they wanted YRC back in pension plans at “some” contributory rate.
Re-entering pension funds at a lower rate would require amending the fund rules for Central States and most other funds: they don’t allow employers to move backward on contributions. More fundamentally it raises questions about the future for YRC Teamsters, and sets a possible precedent for other employers eager to downsize or eliminate workers’ pensions.
The union committee meeting with YRC on this issue includes Johnson along with Gordon Sweeton, Randy Cammack, Danny Barton, Kevin McCafferty, and David Laughton. They come from the Western, Central States, New York Local 707, and New England pension funds.
There is a separate committee meeting with YRC management, which Johnson described dealing with YRC competitiveness, and looking at “uniform regional work rules” to “afford the company some latitude.”
Teresa Ghilarducci was appointed to the YRC board after being nominated by the International union. Ghilarducci is a pro-labor economist and pension expert.
YRC Teamsters will have the right to vote on any proposed new concessions. A vote on a new concession agreement is expected before the present one expires at the end of 2010.