June 1, 2010: The union and YRC are in talks to let the company re-enter Teamster pension funds at greatly reduced rates.
Teamster Voice has learned that the IBT and YRC are discussing the possibility of the company re-entering Teamster pension plans at a greatly reduced contribution rate.
The concession agreement approved a year ago requires management to resume full participation in the pension plans on January 1, 2011.
On August 1, 2010, the NMFA employer contribution rate will increase, and then be over $8 per hour. This would be about $40 million per month in added employee compensation, or nearly $500 million next year.
If the International Union decides to give YRC additional relief from compliance with the contract pension language on January 1, there will have to be another national vote of YRC Teamsters to approve that deal.
The International Union has formed two joint committees with management to discuss the future of YRC pensions. They are considering giving YRC a break on the pension cost, so that an amount much lower than $8 per hour would be contributed.
This would require action by the trustees of many Teamster pension funds. The Central States Fund, which includes the majority of YRC Teamsters, has a rule preventing reductions in pension contribution rates. Most other pension funds do also.
The International Union needs to level with members, and bring members into the decision-making process on the future of their pensions.
The Hoffa administration should learn from the vote at ABF. Freight Teamsters want more straight talk—and less backroom dealing.