Monday, July 06, 2009

YRC Worldwide, Teamsters will resume talks Wednesday

YRC Worldwide Inc. is set to resume face-to-face negotiations with its union on Wednesday as the two seek a way to help YRC maintain sufficient cash to continue operating.

A spokesman for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters confirmed Monday when the in-person talks would continue. Discussions, which began a week ago, are being held at the Teamsters’ Washington headquarters and by conference call.

Neither the company nor the union has disclosed the content of the negotiations.

Overland Park-based trucking company YRC which has roughly 49,000 employees — more than half of them union members — has been weighed down by debt and a lengthy freight recession, and lost $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 members 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 and on June 18 secured an agreement with the largest pension fund to defer $83 million in payments.

The union has said it also is reaching out to stakeholders — such as pension funds and YRC’s lenders — to address the cash issue.

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