IBT Leaders to Consider YRC Proposal

Rhonda Smith
BNA Daily Labor Report
December 02, 2013
View the original piece

The National Freight Negotiating Committee for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters is scheduled to meet with IBT local union leaders Dec. 6 to review a proposal from YRC Worldwide Inc. to modify an existing restructuring agreement that expires March 31, 2015.  The Teamsters, which represents 26,000 workers at the Kansas-based company, said in a statement Nov. 27 that local union leaders will decide after the meeting whether to submit the proposal to its membership to be voted on in a mail ballot referendum.  Complete details about the proposal haven't been released. Neither the Teamsters nor YRC Worldwide would provide details about the proposal when contacted Nov. 29 by Bloomberg BNA.  “This meeting and the subsequent vote, which we believe will be ratified, is another important and positive development in our long-planned refinancing process and the continued implementation of our turnaround plan,” James Welch, chief executive officer of YRC Worldwide and president of YRC Freight, said Nov. 26 in a statement. “We are grateful to our union and non-union employees who have made significant sacrifices to keep our company moving forward and our customers who have shown solid support in this process.”

Based in Overland Park, Kan., YRC Worldwide is the holding company for YRC Freight, YRC Reimer (in Canada), Holland, Reddaway, and New Penn.
Talks About Financial Future

YRC Worldwide officials met with Teamsters officials in Dallas Nov. 5 to discuss the trucking company's financial future. The purpose of the meeting, the company said, was to update local and national Teamsters leaders about YRC Worldwide's “recent performance, future prospects, corporate refinancing opportunities and the need to proactively align multiple stakeholders in advance of 2014 debt obligation deadlines.”

YRC Worldwide wants to extend its current contract with the Teamsters for five years from ratification, the company said in a Nov. 12 statement, to “achieve cost savings for YRC Freight, Holland, Reddaway and New Penn.”

Welch said Nov. 6 that a contract extension with IBT beyond the current agreement's expiration in 2015 would be an important step in providing customers with the service they deserve and in “providing our employees long-term job stability, competitive industry-wide wages and outstanding healthcare benefits.”

“In addition to securing the jobs of over 26,000 union employees,” he said, “it will substantially increase the likelihood of a holistic refinancing solution to address the debt maturities in 2014 and 2015.”

Previous IBT Concessions

YRC Worldwide and IBT in July 2011 separately announced the completion of the company's restructuring plan at that time, saying it would provide IBT-represented employees with a 25 percent ownership stake in the company and provide the firm with added financial stability. Prior to the 2011 restructuring announcement, IBT members employed at YRC had agreed to two rounds of concessionary contract modifications, in October 2010.

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