A group of dissident union workers employed by YRC Worldwide Inc. in Chicago has narrowly passed a proposal waiving the company’s pension obligations until next year.
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters’ Local 705 reported on its Web site Saturday that the final vote total was 178-142 in favor of the proposal.
Spokespeople for the local didn’t immediately return a phone call for comment Monday and a spokeswoman for Overland Park-based YRC said she was looking into the issue.
The concessions didn’t include an extra 5 percent wage reduction, which other union members accepted in August along with the temporary halt to pension payments.
The Chicago locals — the other is Local 710, which represents dockworkers — are among a handful of YRC’s union workers that operated under separate “white paper” bargaining agreements rather than as part of national freight industry bargaining. But on Nov. 24, the Teamsters General Executive Board passed a resolution ending that exemption for locals in the Chicago area. However, the board said the workers would keep conditions in their contracts that were better than the national contract.
YRC is in the midst of getting shareholders to approve issuing millions of shares of additional stock, part of a deal for the company’s bondholders to swap $470 million in debt for a 94 percent stake in the company.