“Vote Till You Get it Right”

August 14, 2009: New Penn Teamsters will be soon be re-voting on YRC concessions, after YRCW management and the Hoffa administration agreed upon a plan to threaten their jobs.

The threat is a proposed change of operations to dissolve New Penn into YRC’s long haul operations; this would essentially end New Penn, as the operations could not be blended and retain the short-haul freight. Under this threat, most New Penn locals, from Philadelphia to Buffalo to Springfield, Mass., are holding meetings this weekend, so Hoffa can claim the members themselves want a chance to “vote till you get it right.”

Hoffa has given the green light to YRC CEO Bill Zollars’ threat to kill New Penn, to bring the members into line. Hoffa could address the New Penn Teamsters more honestly, and without a union-busting threat, by asking them for “equality of sacrifice.” He could even announce 15 percent pay cuts for himself and other International officials, in an act of solidarity. But that would be behaving too much like a real union leader for him to attempt.

It is expected that the re-vote will start in late August via a mail ballot.

New Penn, a regional carrier in the Northeast, employs 2,000 Teamsters and is YRCW’s most successful subsidiary. In the vote count of August 7, New Penn Teamsters rejected the concessions by a two-to-one margin, while the much larger YRC and Holland unit voted 58 percent Yes. New Penn Teamsters got their regular pay (with no additional five percent cut) in this week’s check.

Chicago Rejections

Local 705 and Local 710, the big Chicago-based locals which have freight contracts independent of the national master contract, also rejected the concessions by about a 2-1 margin. YRC and Holland Teamsters there received their regular pay rate, without the additional five percent cut, in the first checks after the concessions vote.

In the Suburban Chicago Agreement, the vote was No also. When workers in suburban Chicago saw that their pay was cut five percent, they protested; now management says they will issue checks for the difference.

Zollars and Hoffa have not revealed their plan to bring the Chicago Teamsters into line.

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