Wednesday, February 27, 2008

YRC CEO: U.S. slowdown may be spreading

YRC Worldwide Inc, the world's largest trucking company, is seeing signs that slowing U.S. economic growth is beginning to spread to the global economy, the company's top executive said on Wednesday.

"It (the slowing U.S. economy) is really comprehensive right now," Chief Executive Bill Zollars said at the Reuters Manufacturing Summit in Chicago. "We have also seen something recently that we have not seen in a long, long time, and that's the port activity has begun to slow a little bit."

"This thing is becoming global," he added. "That was our worry right from the beginning that this would not be limited to the U.S.," he said.

Trucking companies are on the front line of the U.S. economy, the first to do well in an upturn, but also the first to suffer when things go bad.

Zollars said that a common theory until recently that much of the rest of the global economy had been "decoupled" from the U.S. economy and would be less susceptible to slowdowns in the U.S., the world's largest economy, was exaggerated.

"I'm sure that it's ... been overstated quite a bit," he said.

Zollars also said at this point concerns over a U.S. recession should outweigh the risk of rising inflation, adding that the U.S. Federal Reserve "has no choice but to cut rates further."

Overland Park, Kansas-based YRC Worldwide is a less-than-truckload (LTL) company, which consolidates smaller loads into a single truck. YRC Worldwide has operations in about 80 countries, including China, and about 66,000 employees.

In early February, YRC Worldwide said it was closing down 27 service centers and shedding around 1,100 jobs in its struggling regional LTL business. Zollars said that apart from some "fine tuning," the majority of the company's restructuring was over, and it would start to see the impact of cost savings in the second quarter.

YRC Worldwide recently agreed to a new five-year contract with the Teamsters union, which will become effective once the old contract expires on March 31.

"We got a great deal of flexibility in this contract and also an opportunity to move into markets we have not been in the past, like the truckload market," Zollars said.

Truckload companies haul goods long distances.

Under the current contract, YRC Worldwide has had to rely on four to six people involved in moving a trailer around a dock, but now could pay a utility employee an extra $1 per hour to perform several tasks, Zollars said.

"It allows you to move more quickly, so it speeds up the velocity of the network and reduces the number of hand-offs so you have a lower cost option," he said.

Teamsters Reach Tentative DHL National Agreement

Agreement Would Cover Thousands of Current DHL Workers Nationwide

The Teamsters national negotiating committee has reached a tentative agreement on the historic DHL National Master Agreement.

"This agreement is truly historic. It is the first new national master agreement negotiated in the transportation sector in decades. Negotiations in recent months have been as complex as any I've been involved with but I am confident that we negotiated the best possible agreement for our members," said Brad Slawson Sr., chair of the Teamsters national negotiating committee.

"The DHL national negotiating committee leaders from Teamster locals across the country stepped up and took ownership of the process and negotiated a national agreement that best serves our members at DHL Express. I'm proud to have had the opportunity to work with leaders from throughout the U.S. to pull together the newest Teamster national master agreement."

In accordance with Teamster procedure, the first step in ratifying the tentative agreement is to present the pact at the national two-man meeting, which will be scheduled soon. The "two-person meeting" involves two representatives from each local with DHL members, who review the new agreement and vote to endorse the tentative agreement.

"Our local leaders will thoroughly review this agreement to ensure that our members' interests are protected," said Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa. "The agreement must be endorsed by the union representatives before it is presented to the membership."

Once the tentative agreement is approved, materials concerning the national contract will be mailed to members' homes and posted to the Teamster web site.

ABF's King Of The Road

In nearly 30 years of driving a truck out of Wytheville for ABF, David Boyer has had one accident.

Miles driven: 3.8 million.
Miles driven without an accident: 3,799,999.
99.99997 percent.

On pretty much any grading scale, that’s an A+. In a press release issued by ABF last week, Boyer was recognized for his impeccable driving record and professionalism by being named as one of 12 drivers comprising ABF’s nationwide 2008-2009 Road Team.

“His excellent driving record throughout his history at ABF is the number one thing that qualified him for it,” said Mike Albert, line-haul relay manager at Wytheville’s ABF station. “David is just one that I think just has the knack for driving a truck.”

Albert, who has worked with Boyer for 27 years, nominated him for the honor. “He by far met the criteria,” Albert said. Les Barker, senior training manager at ABF’s headquarters in Fort Smith, Ark., said nominations for the Road Team are gathered from ABF’s 282 terminals across all 50 states.

The applications of the top three candidates from each of ABF’s 12 regions are then submitted to the corporate office where 12 drivers are selected to two-year terms as members of the Road Team.

Full Story.....

DHL Express National Negotiations Are Successful

Tentative Agreement at DHL Express Is Imminent

The Teamsters national negotiating committee has had productive negotiations with DHL Express, working long hours over this past weekend and into this week. A tentative agreement on the historic first DHL National Master Agreement is imminent, a union leader said.

“Our negotiations in recent months have moved along well and we are in the final stages of negotiating economic issues,” said Brad Slawson Sr., chair of the Teamsters national negotiating committee. “I am confident that a tentative agreement is imminent.”

Additional information about the agreement will arrive later in the day.

Local union leaders and members are urged to visit the Teamsters web site,, for more information about these historic negotiations.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

UPS Freight Workers in North Carolina Sign Cards to Become Teamsters

In Latest Victory, About 235 Drivers, Dockworkers Will Join Local 391

(Greensboro, NC) – An overwhelming majority of about 235 workers at the UPS Freight terminals in Greensboro, Raleigh, Fayetteville, Kinston and Wilmington, in North Carolina, have signed authorization cards to become Teamsters, bringing the total number of drivers and dockworkers seeking to join the union to nearly 6,100 since January 16, Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa announced.

The workers are seeking to join Local 391 in Greensboro.

“Our Organizing Coordinator, Randy Conrad, worked closely with our freight and UPS stewards to collect cards in just a week and a half,” said Jack Cipriani, and International Union Vice President and President of Local 391. “I want to thank our current members who helped give the UPS Freight workers the opportunity for a brighter future as Teamsters. We look forward to helping the UPS Freight workers win the strong contract they deserve.”

“North Carolina has put us over the 6,000-worker plateau,” said Ken Hall, Director of the Teamsters Package Division. “We are closing in on the halfway-point in our goal of collecting cards from a majority of 12,600 UPS Freight workers. The excitement continues to build.”

In addition to the North Carolina workers, a majority of UPS Freight workers in West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, Indiana, California, Florida, Arizona, New York, Kentucky and New England, including the large cities of Chicago, Cleveland, Atlanta, Houston, San Diego, St. Louis, Orlando, Charlotte, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Oakland, Seattle, Memphis and Detroit, have submitted cards to become Teamsters.