January 27, 2014: The voting results are in and the YRC concessions will be extended through 2019. Join YRC Teamsters who are taking aim at 2016 and the chance to vote out the Hoffa administration and take back our union.
Teamster members approved the YRCW “Plan B” contract extension by a vote of 12,267 to 6,314 in local union voting over the weekend. Hoffa and Hall immediately hailed it as “saving 30,000 jobs.” The vote means that the 2008 contract is now extended to run 11 years, until 2019.
As vote reports started coming in on Saturday, it became clear that the balance was tipping to Yes, from the overwhelming rejection of Plan A earlier this month. Many big locals switched majorities from No to Yes, such as Los Angeles Local 63, Dallas Local 745, Columbus Local 413, Akron Local 24, and Kansas City Local 41.
Some big locals did vote majority No, such as Chicago Local 710 and Portland Local 81, among others. Some voted Yes, but by narrow margins, such as Atlanta Local 728, St. Louis Local 600, and Memphis Local 667.
You can see the Local-by-Local votes here.
Management and the Hoffa administration were forced to make some improvements in Plan B due to Teamster solidarity in the first vote: 1) the mean-spirited five year wage freeze for non-CDL Teamsters was removed; 2) vacation week was saved for affected Teamsters; 3) the vacation pay concession was improved. The rank and file won those changes, while Hoffa and Hall sat back watching.
Stand United for Change
The battle for the future of Teamsters in freight is not over. YRCW, ABF and UPS Freight Teamsters have been through the wringer and out the other side. It is clearly time for change in our union, or we will stay on the defensive, taking concessions, and not organizing.
YRC Local 773 road driver Al Watrous, the administrator of the No More Concessions! Facebook page, summed it up:
“We need to stand United more than ever before. We are all in this together and have been lacking Unity and Leadership for far too long. Keep it together Teamsters, we have work to do.”
That work is organizing a movement now to change our union in 2016. Two years from this month, there will be delegate elections in almost every local – including yours. Those delegates – lots of them – will be needed to nominate a team to take Hoffa and Hall out. Change will happen, but only if we organize, starting now.
Change at the top starts with organizing at the bottom in our local unions. If you want to be part of a national movement to take back our union, contact us.
Will Harry Wilson Take Home another $5.5 Million?
Hoffa’s appointee to the YRCW Board, Harry Wilson, may now stand to collect a $5.5 million “completion fee” if YRCW successfully refinances debt, as a result of Teamsters taking concessions until 2019.
Hoffa and Hall’s Wall Street tycoon shouldn’t be making millions while Teamsters are taking concessions. How about putting that money toward some new equipment instead?
A Dangerous Precedent
The vote last weekend was the first-ever contract vote by YRCW or master freight Teamsters without a mail ballot. The excuse was it needed to be done fast to allow management time to refinance.
Earlier this month Hall had a different excuse for the quickie-vote and no mail ballot at UPS Freight.
TDU believes in fair and informed contract votes, and we have successfully sued in court over UPS, Freight, and Carhaul national contracts in the past to enforce this right.
At the national meeting of Local Officers a week ago, Tyson Johnson referred to TDU’s lawsuits when he stated he could not speed the vote up even more!
We will continue to defend members’ right to a fair vote, with time to discuss it, and with all members given a mail ballot.
If you have opinions on this issue, you can let us know here.