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YRC Teamsters Revote Set for This Weekend

January 22, 2014

By Evan Lockridge

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Leaders from Teamster local unions representing workers at trucking giant YRC Worldwide, have overwhelmingly recommended approval of a revised tentative labor contract members will vote on this coming Saturday and Sunday.

If ratified, it will provide a pathway for substantial debt reduction and refinancing initiatives for YRCW that will permit the company to protect and preserve more than 30,000 jobs. YRCW has failed to show a profit the last several years and is seeking to refinance more than $1 billion in debt, but first has to have an agreement with the Teamsters before lenders will provide it with badly needed financing.

“Today’s decision by local union leaders agreeing to endorse and send the tentative agreement to the membership will allow voting to take place at union halls this coming weekend,” said Tyson Johnson, director of the Teamsters National Freight Division and co-chairman of the Teamsters National Freight Industry Negotiating Committee. “Our members made their voices heard about the company’s initial proposal, and we went back to the company and negotiated significant improvements that will give the members another opportunity to vote on saving this company.

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The dissident group Teamsters for a Democratic Union describes the new offer as “considerably changed from YRCW’s wish list” that was overwhelmingly rejected by members earlier this month.

“Reduced vacation pay has been modified and delaying three-weeks of vacation until 11 years of seniority is out. The two-tiered wage increase is out (Non-CDL dock and office workers were denied any wage increases in the first proposal) and non-CDL new-hires will have a progression,” it says. "The lump-sum bonus the first two years of the five-year extension is still in but those on seasonal layoff will get the bonus. The use of purchased transportation has added protection for road work, but is still in.”

Some union employees were reportedly upset the earlier agreement added new concessions rather than just extending the current labor contract into 2019.

YRC has not commented on this latest development, but in announcing a tentative deal had been reached between the two sides last Friday, YRC chief executive James Welch, called the revised proposal the “best and only remaining  path forward.”

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