September 19, 2008: Yellow and Roadway will integrate operations over the next 18 months, close 200 of 650 terminals, and end up with a single operating company called Yellow Roadway. The impact on nearly 40,000 Teamsters who work for Yellow and Roadway is likely to be large.
YRC CEO Bill Zollars made the announcement to investors at a Sept. 8 meeting in New York, where he laid out the plan with a slide show.
Outside his presentation, Chicago Local 705 Teamsters were on hand to greet Zollars with a huge banner that read “Yellow Roadway Corp Worldwide Unfair to Labor. Teamsters Local 705.”
Zollars claims the time is right because the economic recession has created enough excess capacity that the integration can gradually take place with no service problems and a smooth transition.
The plan calls for sales forces to be combined right away. Terminal combinations, where the rubber meets the road for Teamsters, will begin at “low density locations” rather than large cities or breakbulks.
Some trucking analysts hailed the move, while others were more cautious.
The International Union announced they will “monitor” the situation. Concerned Teamster members are asking a lot of good questions—and not getting any answers at this point.
Yellow and Roadway employ some 40,000 Teamsters, and another 12,000 work at other YRC subsidiaries.