Tuesday, June 30, 2009

YRC Worldwide, Teamsters trade plans to bolster trucking company

YRC Worldwide Inc. and its union have swapped plans for helping the trucking company generate sufficient short-term cash.

The parties began talks Monday at the International Brotherhood of Teamsters’ headquarters in Washington. A Teamsters negotiating committee is reviewing YRC’s proposal, and negotiations were expected to resume Tuesday, according to an update on the Teamsters’ Web site. The union has said it is reaching out to stakeholders — such as pension funds and lenders — to address the cash issue.

The Overland Park-based trucking company which has about 49,000 employees, has been hit by a drawn-out freight recession, losing $257.4 million in the first quarter. It has integrated subsidiaries, shut down facilities, laid off workers and sold property to try to cut costs and maintain liquidity.

Early this year, Teamsters member agreed to a 10 percent wage cut and suspension of cost-of-living adjustments through 2013 in exchange for a 15 percent stake in the company. YRC also has been negotiating to defer union pension fund payments using company real estate as collateral — a move its lenders allowed — and on June 18 secured an agreement with the largest pension fund to defer $83 million in payments.

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