Monday, July 20, 2009

YRC chairman: Nonunion workers probably won’t take further cuts

YRC Worldwide Inc.’s nonunion employees probably won’t take further cuts if International Brotherhood of Teamsters workers approve another round of concessions, company Chairman and CEO Bill Zollars said.

The nonunion workers, who constitute about 14,000 of YRC’s 49,000 total employees — or about 29 percent of the work force — early this year took a 10 percent wage cut that now has been extended, along with the suspension of 401(k) matches and benefits cuts.

The Overland Park-based trucking company (Nasdaq: YRCW) has laid off thousands, closed facilities, sold property, amended bank agreements and taken other steps to avoid bankruptcy amid a drawn-out freight recession.

Nonunion workers have taken more of a cut to health and benefits, Zollars said in a Thursday interview.

On Friday, the Teamsters mailed YRC union workers ballots about accepting concessions that include an extra 5 percent wage cut until 2013 and deferral of 18 months of pension contributions. The union workers would get options for an additional 20 percent stake in outstanding YRC stock, along with considerations such as an appointee on the YRC board.

The concessions, which would bring the total union wage cut this year to 15 percent and the total options available to union workers to 35 percent, would save YRC an estimated $825 million through the end of 2010.

In documents distributed to union members last week, the Teamsters said nonunion employees would “have further adjustments made to their total compensation package to bring their total wage and benefit package in line with what reductions are proposed” in the concessions.

“Increases to wages, if any, can only be made in proportion to increases Teamsters will receive each April under the revised agreement,” the Teamsters said.

The company also tried to balance opportunities for union and nonunion employees. Although union employees would get stock options, non-union employees potentially could get raises, Zollars said.

“Union employees will benefit through stock appreciation,” he said. “(Nonunion workers) will benefit from incentive-based compensation as we recover.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I encourage every teamster to vote no on the changes as the Union leadership is not playing fair. You need to know that you will not only not receive contributions, but you will not receive an "work hours" credit towards your retriment year, pension plan vesting, and years toward your peer program. Those who have 23 - 24 years of service must work an additionl 3 years to make up the points lost. Tell your Union, count the time worked. The Union has the power to provide this to you and has chosen not to out of their own greet.