Drivers, Dockworkers Ratify Plan Aimed at Preserving Their Jobs, Benefits
Teamster members at New Penn have overwhelmingly approved a Job Security Plan that provides economic relief to its parent company, YRC Worldwide, Inc., as it tries to recover from a recession that is pummeling the freight business.
In the revote, New Penn members--as well as members covered by all mechanics and office agreements--approved the plan 912-334. In the first vote, New Penn members rejected the plan while a majority of other YRCW employees ratified the plan. About 1,500 New Penn workers were eligible to vote.
"The New Penn local union leaders did a great job explaining the negative
consequences if this revote was not successful," said Tyson Johnson, Director
of the Teamsters National Freight Division. "The New Penn members realized
that hundreds of jobs were at stake in this vote."
The Job Security Plan provides YRCW with over $1.2 billion of cost savings over the remaining 43-month term of the agreement and greatly enhances YRCW's financial position. While the wage reduction and pension terminations are effective immediately, they will not remain in effect unless:
1) YRCW and its bank group amend their loan agreements in order to provide the company with sufficient liquidity and flexibility to complete its restructuring and take advantage of the upturn in freight demand anticipated in 2010; and
2) affiliated Teamster Pension Funds approve the "deferral/termination" arrangement.
The plan calls for a reduction in gross wages of 15 percent from the full
National Master Freight Agreement rates. This includes the 10 percent wage
reduction previously ratified by the membership in January 2009.
Additionally, the plan will allow the company to terminate pension fund contributions effective from July 1, 2009 through December 31, 2010, but employees will not lose accrued benefits or credits previously earned during this period.