Just weeks away from negotiations on the next YRC contract, IBT Freight Director Ernie Soehl has agreed to two “pilot programs” to address “driver shortages.”
The real issue is YRC, Holland and New Penn cannot hire and keep qualified drivers at the concessionary wages they currently pay. Raise the wages and drivers will work. That’s what needs to be won in the current bargaining round; Hoffa and Soehl need to deliver that for current and future Teamsters.
The first Memorandum of Agreement (MOU) allows use of the 34-hour reset rule and 70 hours in 8 days. Both are voluntary and could lead to higher earnings, but also present issues over dispatch rights, bids, etc. Even with the protections outlined in the MOU, these can be potentially abused and will need enforcement.
With the second MOU, non-CDL drivers will be hired (or dock workers utilized) at $20/hour because the company can’t find and hire CDL drivers with a concessionary wage progression.
But the real answer is raise the rates, and add to the Teamster board, and the companies will get qualified applicants. Again, all this needs to be negotiated and delivered with the next contract.
Hoffa and Ernie Soehl have to understand that the solutions to issues at the YRC companies aren’t a constant flow of MOUs. We need to win better wages. That will grow and stabilize the work force, with Teamsters who move the freight efficiently.
Teamster members know this, it time for Hoffa and Soehl to make this happens in 2019.