YRC to Apply for Federal Bailout

May 15, 2009: YRC announced they will apply for federal bailout money, possibly as soon as today, citing their pension costs as a factor.

YRC may have a difficult task, because TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) funds have only gone to the big auto companies, aside from banks and financial institutions.

But YRC may have a back-up plan. CEO Bill Zollars told the Wall Street Journal that he hopes to “get the conversation going” with the government about the issue of multi-employer pension funds that include retirees of corporations that are now closed.

Teamsters for a Democratic Union (TDU) is calling for an expansion of the role and funding of the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC), in part to deal with this issue. The defense of the hard-earned pensions of millions of American workers is a top priority.

The PBGC was set up to insure workers’ pensions, but is woefully inadequate. Only major funding from the federal government to the PBCG can allow it to be a real protection for our families’ future. The PBGC also needs to help pension funds with retirees of companies’ that have gone out of business.

The Teamsters Union has a high-level pension committee looking into the issue. Reportedly the Teamsters encouraged YRC to apply for TARP funds.

YRC has not paid its latest monthly payments to various Teamster funds, and is in talks with the pension funds to post real estate as collateral for some months of payments.

Click here to see the Wall Street Journal article on YRC’s move for bailout funds.

What do you think our union should do to protect Teamster jobs and benefits? Click here to send your comments to Teamsters for a Democratic Union.

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