Yellow's Office Change of Operations

Yellow’s proposed Office Change of Operations reared its head again and will be heard just days after this is printed, on Dec. 7 in Kansas City. The proposal would move work to Sioux Falls, but not move a single Teamster.

It was first slated to be heard in September, but postponed after a barrage of questions and protests from members, stewards and locals. Teamsters are concerned that the real goal of the proposal is to relieve management from paying grievances when Teamsters wrongfully lose their office work.

Once again stewards and concerned local leaders plan to speak out against it, and call for it to be withdrawn or denied.

Tonnage Down, YRC Profits Up
The economy appears to be slowing if freight industry figures are the indicator. Teamster drivers agree, based on their experiences this fall. Most carriers reported declines in tonnage in the third quarter and weren’t predicting significant improvements in the fourth quarter peak season. Net profits at ABF slipped 22 percent. Bob Davidson, chairman of Arkansas Best, stated that “Something unusual is taking place and I don’t pretend to understand it.” Yellow Roadway CEO Bill Zollars is optimistic and said that “This doesn’t feel anything like the 2000 time frame as we were going into a recession.” YRC profits rose 12.4 percent in the third quarter to a record $95.9 million. He expects profits to grow more in 2007.

FedEx Freight Expands in Canada
According to Patrick Reed, Chief Operating Officer of FedEx Freight, “within three-to-five years we want to be a major player in Canadian LTL.” FedEx plans to use its recent purchase of Watkins Motor Lines as a springboard. Watkins, now FedEx National LTL, will be known to the north as FedEx Freight Canada. FedEx may start using truck-rail intermodal transportation in Canada—something they have shied away from in the US because of service issues. FedEx Freight (non-union) ranks second to YRC (union) among North American LTL carriers.

DHL Won’t See Profits Until 2009
In a recent report to shareholders and analysts, the Deutsche Post chief financial officer reported that DHL won’t reach profitability until 2009. He did say DHL “achieved a trend reversal” this year. When DHL bought Airborne Express the company predicted profits by 2006.

Democrats Take Lead in Congress
Representative James Oberstar (D-MN) is slated to become chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in January. Oberstar is vocal in his opposition to triples. He has also called for more vigorous enforcement of the hours-of-service regulations. Daniel Inouye (D-HI) is expected to chair the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. That panel oversees the Department of Transportation and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

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