October 30, 2010: With the gun of a threatened shutdown aimed at their heads, YRCW Teamsters have approved new concessions and a contract extension until 2015 by a 62% margin at YRC and Holland and by 69% at New Penn.
The concessions will now go into effect immediately. On June 1, 2011, members will start receiving a $1.75 per hour pension contribution. Each pension fund has to determine what this employer contribution will buy for members. In most funds, pension trustees will have to make amendments to their plan to allow such a drastic reduction in contractual pension contributions. The current contribution rate in the freight contract is about $8.40 per hour, with variations by contract supplement.
Why Members Voted Yes
The concessionary contract extension passed despite widespread anger and bitterness directed at YRCW’s mismanagement, as well as the neglect of the freight industry by the Hoffa administration.
Hoffa came into office 12 years ago promising to “restore the power” in freight. The only power restored is what went to his head. Organizing has been slim to none. Strategic planning is nonexistent. He seriously undermined the Central States Pension Fund by letting UPS have their way with a company plan. He failed to bargain UPS Freight either into the contract or the Teamster benefit funds.
Sandy Pope, who is challenging Hoffa for the Teamster presidency released a statement on the vote result: “Teamsters have made a tough choice. We never should have been in this position. James Hoffa has let the power his father built in the freight industry slip away. We have been reduced to approving severe concessions to save companies and jobs. We should be organizing to improve wages and benefits -- not going backwards. With a strategic plan to organize and defend our contracts and pensions, we can get back on the offense and rebuild Teamster power. Our members deserve nothing less.”
Click here for the Local-by-Local breakdown of the YRC and Holland vote.
Click here for the Local-by-Local breakdown of the New Penn vote.