April 16, 2009: The YRC merger is a fact of life now for 35,000 freight Teamsters.
By Chuck Deaver
Status reports on the merger are all over the drivers’ rooms, the trucking industry press, and our local unions.
The reviews are mixed.
Teamster employees have done their part, and more, to help YRC succeed. It’s now up to management to make it work in this difficult economic period.
Teamsters gave up 10 percent of their wages less than a year into a five-year contract, with little in return. Meanwhile, management has not imposed any cut on its nonunion drivers at USF Reddaway.
Teamsters have watched as 100 terminals have closed, and now management reports they want to downsize to 400 YRC terminals by the end of this year.
Layoffs and Closings
Thousands of Teamsters have endured layoffs, not just because of the deep recession, but now because of the merger. Many have relocated, only to be laid off upon arrival.
USF Holland Teamsters were just kicked to the curb at 11 terminals, many of them veterans of the same treatment five years ago at USF Red Star.
Teamsters—the great majority of them—are working hard and smart to give the merger a chance. Teamsters have done so even when their hard work has not kept up with management’s mistakes.
When companies get into trouble, why do the workers take the rap in the media and in Washington? The auto workers didn’t cause the recession, and the bank workers didn’t cause the credit debacle.
Teamsters have done their part. It’s up to management to do theirs.