Hoffa Talks More Concessions

June 8, 2009: YRC has been terminated from participation in the Teamster pension fund in the West, effective June 10. At the same time, the Hoffa administration is planning to re-open the national contract.

The Western Conference of Teamsters Pension Fund, which covers the thirteen Western States, has now issued a statement to locals, which is available here.

Hoffa issued a press release on June 5 which indicates the union needs to modify the contract to “address YRCW’s request to defer pension contributions.” Click here to read Hoffa’s press release.

Any such change to the National Master Freight Agreement must be voted by the membership.

The Western Conference of Teamsters Pension Fund, which covers thousands of YRC and Reddaway Teamsters throughout the thirteen Western states, froze YRC members’ accruals in early June. Presumably a notice will go out to members soon.

The Central Pennsylvania Pension Fund earlier took the same action. And, on May 29, the New England Pension Fund sent every YRC Teamster a letter threatening that YRC will be terminated as a participating employer within 30 days if payment is not received.

YRC has been working to get an agreement with a group of Teamster pension funds to post real estate as collateral in lieu of pension contributions for the rest of the year. But the pension funds have a fiduciary responsibility to protect the interests and assets of the participants.

The Hoffa administration has been invisible at YRC, leaving members feeling isolated. Perhaps the IBT’s plan now is to modify the contract to allow YRC to defer pension payments. If that happens, no YRC Teamster will accrue pension credits.

ABF, which is already crying that its primary competitor has a 10 percent wage advantage, would scream bloody murder if YRC pension payments are deferred. The 10 percent wage cut amounts to about $2.30 per hour; the pension contributions are approximately $7 per hour, and slated to go up on August 1.

What do you think? Click here to send your comments to the TDU Freight Committee.

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