- THE MAGAZINE
Teamsters working for YRC Worldwide Inc. (YRCW) have overwhelmingly ratified an extension of its collective bargaining agreement to March 2019. After rejecting a prior company proposal, employees represented by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) approved this latest proposal by a vote of 12,267 to 6,314.
- Vote results can be seen here.
“With this MOU extension, we took another significant step toward providing our employees the job security they deserve while providing our prospective lenders and equity investors the path they need for the company to achieve a complete recapitalization and achieve a healthy capital structure,” stated James Welch, CEO of YRCW. “The five-year extension includes important customer service enhancements, cost savings and a profit sharing plan for eligible IBT employees that is dependent on operating performance and our ability to become more competitive in the marketplace," added Welch.
From the IBT’s point of view, the plan will provide a pathway for substantial debt reduction and refinancing initiatives that will permit the company to protect jobs.
“This was a very difficult vote for our members, but in the end they did what they believe will give this company the best chance to stay in business and protect their jobs,” said Jim Hoffa, Teamsters general president and co-chairman of the Teamsters National Freight Industry Negotiating Committee. “Now we will hold management’s feet to the fire to make sure our members’ jobs are protected and redouble our efforts to make sure this company handles its finances responsibly.”
On Jan. 9, a ballot count revealed that an initial company proposal was soundly rejected by over 19,000 Teamster members who voted over several weeks.
“Once again, our members’ sacrifices are providing the lifeline for the company,” said Tyson Johnson, Director of the Teamsters National Freight Division and Co-Chairman of TNFINC. “Now we fully expect the company to successfully conclude the deleveraging and refinancing components of the restructuring to once and for all put this company on a sustainable path."
YRCW was a bit more optimistic about the deal, of which details have been hard to come by.
"We now move ahead with some of the most experienced transportation professionals in the industry and a more competitive wage and benefits package that will enable us to attract new members to our growing team. YRC Freight, Holland, Reddaway and New Penn emerge from this process with a renewed focus on achieving best-in-class performance in order to deliver great operating results for customers, employees and shareholders," concluded Welch.