February 26, 2010: YRC Teamsters—except in Chicago Local 710—have approved concessions that terminate participation in our pension plans until the end of this year, but resume on January 1. Will that plan work out—and is there a way to make it work?
These questions have serious implications for our freight division, our pension plans and our Teamster members and families.
Many YRC Teamsters worry this deal isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on. YRC’s pension obligation for 2011 will be about $15,000 per Teamster, or about $500 million for the year in total pension contributions.
It’s a safe bet that come January YRC will be pleading poverty and asking for an extension of the pension contribution freeze.
The Hoffa administration needs to level with the membership about its plans. Does the IBT intend to enforce the agreement or not?
If YRC legitimately can’t afford to make the pension contributions and stay in business, then what? Will Hoffa insist that YRC gradually increase its pension contributions?
And what about Teamsters who would be adversely affected by the pension contribution freeze?
Teamsters in the West have been promised “PEER 80” early retirement: a full pension if your age plus years of service adds to 80. But, if you have less than 25 years service, you do not qualify for PEER 80 if you have not worked for a contributing employer for one year when you reach 80.
If YRC does not come back in the fund early next year, many could be giving up their eligibility for early retirement, too. Does the Hoffa administration have a plan to protect these freight Teamsters?
What do you think? Click here to send your comments to the TDU Freight Committee.