Teamster members who work at YRC Worldwide operating companies YRC, Holland and New Penn have ratified a Restructuring Plan aimed at saving more than 25,000 union jobs -- the third round of union concessions at the struggling LTL carrier.
YRC and Holland members ratified the agreement by a 62 percent to 38 percent margin, while members at New Penn ratified the agreement by a 69 to 31 percent margin. About 67 percent of YRCW Teamsters cast ballots.
The agreement, which will save the company an estimated $350 million a year, is the product of months of discussions and negotiations. On September 29, leaders from Teamster freight local unions unanimously recommended to send the plan to a membership vote. Union members voted by mail over the past three weeks and ballots were counted this weekend.
"We realize that in ratifying this restructuring plan our members will continue to make huge sacrifices, which have been very difficult for our members and their families during the worst economic recession in decades," said Tyson Johnson, director of the Teamsters National Freight Division. "However, we firmly believe this plan is the only hope for saving our members' jobs as this recession continues to cause so much hardship."
The restructuring plan modifies and extends the current National Master Freight Agreement and Supplemental Agreements for a two-year period until March 31, 2015, and provides for annual wage and benefit increases including a resumption of partial pension contributions beginning in June 2011.
"This new labor contract positions our company for improved performance by providing a long-term market competitive cost structure as well as enhanced efficiency to meet the demands of today's transportation and supply chain customers," said Mike Smid, President of YRC Inc. and Chief Operations Officer of YRC Worldwide. "Given the progress we have made over the last two quarters, this new labor agreement provides a strong foundation for long-term growth."
In addition to participating in the debt reduction and equity investment discussions to create a sustainable company, the union will require equity ownership of the company and, at a minimum, one additional board seat. The plan also calls for continued equal sacrifice-management and non-union employees are required to participate in cost sharing in an equal manner. The plan has additional compensation improvements for Teamster members based on the company's future operating performance.