Saturday, September 05, 2009

James P. Hoffa: Happy 'Enlightened' Labor Day

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said this week that workers in the United States apparently don't want to join unions because of the "very enlightened management in this country now, treating employees better and employees have decided they don't want to pay the dues."

McConnell, R-Ky., husband of the most anti-union Labor Secretary in history, enlightened the rest of the country with his ridiculous reason claiming why no Republican will vote for the Employee Free Choice Act.

To borrow from Rep. Barney Frank, McConnell must spend most of his time on a planet that's much better than the planet the rest of us live on.

In truth, the Employee Free Choice Act is desperately needed on my planet, where 16 workers die on the job every day because managers ignore their health and safety. On my planet, field workers die of heat exhaustion. Laundry workers are killed by dangerous machinery. Exhausted airline pilots die in crashes. Full Story.........

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

YRC; Facts surrounding the New Penn situation

Taken from YRCW Insight website

There's been a great deal of speculation in the marketplace about New Penn, where employees represented by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters are voting for a second time on the modified labor agreement.

We don't comment on speculation. Here's what we can tell you:

The company has not filed any change of operations affecting the network status of New Penn.

New Penn continues to provide superior regional, next-day transportation services to our customers.

We're proud to announce that New Penn recently won its 16th consecutive Quest for Quality award from Logistics Management magazine.

The bargaining units that haven't yet ratified the labor agreement modifications represent less than 10 percent of our company's Teamsters employees. According to information released by the union, ballots from New Penn employees are due back September 9. We'll provide updated information after the Teamsters release results.

Monday, August 31, 2009


Teamsters Cite FedEx’s Poor Performance, Oversight Failures

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters today asked shareholders of FedEx Corporation to support the union’s proposal for an independent board chairman at FedEx’s upcoming annual meeting.

In a letter to shareholders, Teamsters General Secretary-Treasurer C. Thomas Keegel said that Frederick W. Smith’s dual role as chairman and chief executive of FedEx has resulted in a CEO-dominated board incapable of providing the rigorous, independent oversight of management that investors require. FedEx’s annual meeting will be September 28 in Memphis, Tennessee.

“FedEx’s lack of independent board leadership, compromised board independence and effectiveness, chronic poor performance, excessive executive pay, and questionable business strategies underscore the urgent need for an independent chairman to lead FedEx’s board in holding management accountable and providing strategic oversight and guidance,” Keegel said.

FedEx has significantly underperformed in the trucking and shipping industries, the S&P 500 Index, and compared to direct competitor United Parcel Service Inc. on a one-year, three-year, and five-year total shareholder returns basis, according to data from The Corporate Library (TCL), a leading provider of independent corporate governance research and analysis. Meanwhile, Smith has raked in exorbitant pay, accruing more than $84 million over the past three fiscal years while shareholder value has fallen by 50.2 percent. Profits made on the exercise of stock option grants with no performance hurdles make up the bulk of Smith’s pay.

The letter also raised concerns that Smith’s controlling influence on a board that includes potentially conflicted and over-extended directors has led the board to rubber stamp an unlawful and unsustainable business model at the company’s second-highest revenue generating business segment, FedEx Ground, which has exposed the company to staggering legal and financial risks.

The FedEx Ground business model, which relies on the misclassification of employee drivers as “independent contractors,” has allowed FedEx to evade expenses like payroll taxes, overtime pay and benefits. Numerous state courts and government agencies have found that FedEx Ground’s contractor model is a sham and are looking to collect the money owed to workers and states. According to an August 2008 Bloomberg article, the pre-tax liability from unpaid payroll taxes alone could reach as high as $2.5 billion.

“Many FedEx shareholders have already joined our call for independent board leadership, with 34 percent of the vote by shareholders supporting the Teamsters’ independent board chairman proposal in 2008,” Keegel said. “We believe that now, more than ever, an independent chairman is necessary for the company to successfully navigate the extraordinary legal, regulatory, reputation- and recession-related challenges facing FedEx.”

Lenders ease YRC Worldwide’s liquidity requirement

YRC Worldwide Inc. and its lenders have finalized another credit agreement amendment, signaling continued support of the trucking giant through financial losses.

Overland Park-based YRC wrapped up the agreement with JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A. and other lenders on Friday, according to a Monday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The agreement maintains a $950 million credit facility for YRC and a senior loan of about $111.5 million, but it suspends until Oct. 13 a requirement that YRC always have liquidity of $100 million or more. It also puts off until Oct. 12 the prepayment of outstanding revolving loans from the proceeds of real estate asset sales; half of any prepayment will increase the revolver reserve amount.

On Aug. 31, the revolver reserve amount was about $100 million; it was not increased by the first $50 million of net cash YRC got from selling real estate since July 30.

The amendment also allows YRC to sell certain property for as much as $400 million in net cash proceeds.

Lenders had to rework credit agreements as a condition of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters’ acceptance of an extra 5 percent pay cut and forfeiting 18 months of pension payments. Most union workers agreed to the concessions early this month.

YRC reported a $309 million loss in the second quarter, coming on the heels of a $257.4 million first-quarter loss.

The company has taken steps that include selling property, integrating subsidiaries, closing facilities, laying off workers and repeatedly amending agreements with lenders in an attempt to maintain liquidity and ride out the recession.