Saturday, April 04, 2009

Drivers at the YRC facility in Maybrook say the new jobs expected at the facility when the company closed its Pennsylvania facility did not materialize.

Instead, they say, all the jobs were filled by drivers transferred from closed YRC facilities elsewhere.

What's worse, drivers who used to work full-time are getting less work as they compete with other drivers for hours.

YRC announced in January it would cut 309 jobs from its Tannersville, Pa., Roadway Express plant and move about 150 of those jobs to Maybrook, and that about a third would be filled locally. Instead, all the jobs were filled by drivers from other YRC facilities, said driver John Kelder.

"There was not 150 new jobs coming to Maybrook," he said. "That was a play on numbers."

'Guys aren't paying their bills'
Kelder transferred from Maybrook to the Missouri facility last July, but when YRC started making cuts there, he opted to come home. He's one of the lucky ones. With 24 years under his belt, seniority means he's still working full-time. But other guys are down to part-time, and some aren't working at all.

The cut in hours, on top of a 10 percent pay cut union members agreed to in January, has left many workers struggling, Kelder said.

"Guys aren't paying their bills," he said.

YRC did not make a spokesperson available.

Kevin McCaffrey, president of Teamsters Local 707, which represents some of the Maybrook employees, said there was no guarantee the jobs would be filled locally, and that the union contract requires jobs to be offered first to workers displaced at other facilities.

He confirmed that overall hours for workers at the Maybrook facility are "down significantly."

And layoffs may be on the way. About 20 Maybrook workers are already on layoff, and talks were under way Thursday for more possible layoffs, McCaffrey confirmed.

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