Saturday, April 04, 2009

YRC Worldwide to cut 600 jobs

YRC Worldwide Inc. is eliminating about 600 non-union jobs by the end of April related to the integration of two subsidiaries and the harsh economy.

The Overland Park, Kan. based trucking company said the cuts result from efficiencies gained from combining Yellow Transportation and Roadway into YRC on March 1 and from ongoing cuts prompted by the economy. Eliminated positions include corporate staff and support positions throughout the company in locations throughout the country.

YRC offered eligible workers an early retirement option, which includes subsidized medical coverage until age 65. Affected employees will get severance benefits, the statement said.

Integrating Yellow and Roadway has been expected to bring about 1,000 job cuts in the second and third quarters. YRC said Wednesday that it is not currently announcing more layoffs.

According to a March 11 presentation by YRC CEO Bill Zollars, Yellow and Roadway had 521 facilities, 37,000 employees and 16,700 trucks at the end of 2008. Around the March 1 integration, about 2,000 employees and 70 facilities were cut. By the end of the year, the combined unit was expected to have 430 facilities, 34,000 employees and 14,000 trucks.

In the presentation, YRC gave no indication that the long-struggling freight industry was recovering and said its first-quarter results would be disappointing, though it expects to save millions because of internal measures.

On Jan. 29, YRC reported a loss of $974.4 million in 2008 and a 7 percent drop in revenue compared with 2007.

Earlier this year, employees who belong to the International Brotherhood of Teamsters union approved an amended labor agreement that included a 10 percent wage cut through 2013 and suspension of cost-of-living adjustments in exchange for a 15 percent stake in the company. Wages for nonunion employees, including executives, were cut by 10 percent until June 30 and by 5 percent from then until Dec. 31 in exchange for a 7 percent stake in the company. The 401(k) match for nonunion employees was eliminated for the first part of the year and reduced for the second part

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