Members Discuss YRCW Agreement

October 4, 2010: Thousands of YRCW Teamsters have gone to local union meetings to learn about the proposed agreement. Also, the Central States Pension Fund issued a statement indicating that the Fund intends to work out some benefits for members, if the agreement is approved.

The Fund statement also indicates that no member will gain or lose anything by retiring before the agreement is ratified.

Ballots will go in the mail on October 7. The future of YRCW is on the line; no observer believes that YRCW would be able to pay the $8.40 per hour pension contribution which would come due when the current concession agreement expires on December 31.

The full text of the agreement is available here.

The statement from the Central States Fund is available here.

Stabilizing YRCW

The International Union has retained a corporate turnaround expert who explained to local officials meeting last week that these provisions will likely stabilize YRC and allow it to return to profitability.

The agreement is conditioned on YRCW converting a significant amount of its debt to equity: that is, banks would accept YRCW stock in exchange for reducing the company’s debt, by December 31, 2010. And the company will be required to find new financing by March 31, 2011.

Summary of Terms

  • The agreement with YRCW companies would be extended two years, to March 31, 2015.
  • The present pension withdrawal would continue until June 1, 2011. Then YRCW would make a contribution of 25% of the contract rate in effect on July 1, 2009, which is far below the present rate. (The rate was about $7 at that time, so 25% would be a rate of about $1.75 per hour.)

The new concessions would include:

  • Road drivers drop and hook at end-of-line terminals, even when yard crews are on duty.
  • A new classification of 4-hour cartage part-timers would be created, up to 10% of the seniority list with a minimum of two.
  • Teamsters with four or more weeks vacation give up one week per year.
  • Coffee breaks cut from 15 to 10 minutes, in states where legal.
  • Road casuals allowed everywhere, including the Central Region.
  • Lunch breaks 30 or 60 minutes, at the company’s discretion on a daily basis.
  • Sunday through Saturday flex work week, in all areas.
  • And some other work rule changes affecting certain locals.

The 15% wage concession would continue for 4.5 years, with annual increases of 40c-45c-40c-40c, minus the 15%. Health and welfare continue as at present, with annual increases of 35c to keep it funded.

Ballots out October 7

Ballots are slated to go out on October 7 to all working and laid off YRCW Teamsters. New Penn Teamsters will be counted separately. The ballots will be counted on October 28 or 29. Independent member observers will be allowed, per a previous lawsuit by Teamsters for a Democratic Union members.

Members to decide

We urge all members to learn the facts, talk with your fellow Teamsters, and give us your feedback and ideas. And cast a vote.

The full text of the agreement is available here.

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