YRCW Proposed Agreement Goes to Members

UPDATED September 30, 2010: The proposed agreement between YRCW and the International Union is headed for a membership vote, with ballots going out on October 7. Members will have a lot to consider because the concessions and trade-offs in the proposed deal are complicated, and the future of YRCW is on the line.

The full text of the agreement is available here.

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). It is not clear if all the pension trusts will allow this, and what it would mean for members’ pension credits. That information should be forthcoming soon. By 2015 the contract pension contribution rate will be approximately $12 per hour.

So, Teamster members would get a $1.75 pension contribution. 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 bumps 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.

Stabilizing YRCW

The International Union has retained a corporate turnaround expert who explained to local officials meeting today 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.

Members to decide

A bulletin issued on September 29 by the IBT falsely claimed that the proposal was “unanimously endorsed” at the meeting of local union leaders. Freight Director Tyson Johnson stated that “we are not asking you to recommend” the proposal. After TDU exposed this lie, the IBT website changed its story on September 30; it now says that Local leaders “agreed to a member vote.”

We will provide more detailed information as it becomes available. Stay informed, talk with your fellow Teamsters, and give us your feedback and ideas.

The full text of the agreement is available here.

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