OVERLAND PARKS, KS — The financial future of trucking company YRC Worldwide again depends on the outcome of a vote on a revised labor contract with Teamster members, which will be held this weekend.
“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,” said Tyson Johnson, director of the Teamsters National Freight Division and co-chairman of the Teamsters National Freight Industry Negotiating Committee.
On Jan. 9, a ballot count showed that the original proposal was rejected by over 19,000 Teamster members.
Here’s what’s different in the new proposal:
• Employees on seasonal layoff will be eligible for the lump sum bonus;
• The proposed wage freeze for current non-CDL employees has been eliminated;
• The starting rate for non-CDL new hires has been increased with a $1.00/hr annual increase;
• Employees subject to the attendance policy will have a “fresh start”;
• The company’s initial proposal to take away a week of vacation from employees with three weeks has been eliminated. Additionally, vacation weeks will be paid at 45 hours/week by the end of the agreement;
• The proposal regarding the use of Utility Employees has been eliminated;
• Restrictions on the use of PTS have been specified and protections for members at affected terminals have been improved.
If approved, the labor contract will be extended from March 2015 to March 2019.
The approval of the labor agreement might affect to YRC’s future, its employees and their jobs (30,000 jobs are at stake). That’s because YRC needs the contract changes to persuade lenders to refinance more than $1 billion in debt it can’t repay. The first payment, totaling $69.4 million, is due Feb. 15.
And while many YRC employees are in the U.S., YRC is also the parent company of Winnipeg-based YRC Reimer, formerly named Reimer Express.
Teamsters President Jim Hoffa commented: “Since the rejection of the company’s proposal, I met with dozens of YRCW members and I have heard from thousands of others. I came away convinced that we owed it to the members to make one last effort to save the company.”
“No one wants concessions, but with a ‘yes’ vote at least we live to see another day, and I urge you to do that,” Hoffa said.
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