November 8, 2013: YRC CEO James Welch presented his case to Teamster local officers three days ago for a five-year contract extension, in order to secure new financing.
It was not an easy sell. A number of officers at the meeting in Dallas asked tough questions, on everything from the botched idea to buy ABF to what else YRC will be asking for.
Welch declined to specify anything else the company would request in bargaining, except new language to curb absenteeism. The materials distributed indicate that wage increases may be in the extension deal.
Welch stressed the urgency of the situation to refinance debt at lower interest rates. He requested to open up the contract and get a vote by 26,000 Teamsters as soon as the end of December on a contract extension. The first debt payment is due February 15, for $69 million, and Welch stated that an extension would need to be in place to secure refinancing from banks.
YRCW has delayed by a week reporting third-quarter earnings as it seeks to start talks with the IBT, according to numerous media reports on the situation.
IBT Freight Director Tyson Johnson told local officials to meet with YRC Teamsters, and then report to the Freight Division on whether they should agree to reopen the contract to discuss an extension.
Some locals are distributing the materials from the November 5 meeting to members, which outline the company's presentation.