Thursday, October 16, 2008

YRC Logistics lays off 200 employees

Workers in Edwardsville, St. Louis are offered other jobs About 200 employees of YRC Logistics Inc. in Edwardsville and St. Louis have been laid off.

Tracy Memoli, an account supervisor for New York-based Linden Alschuler & Kaplan Public Relations and speaking on behalf of the company, confirmed the layoffs Wednesday.

According to a statement released by YRC Logistics Chief Operating Officer John Carr, laid-off employees have been offered positions with another service provider, but he declined to disclose the company.

The company is a subsidiary of trucking and freight company YRC Worldwide Inc.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Two Unions Support Teamsters Boycott

Two unions called on Gap stores to stop using a freight carrier that is involved in a dispute with the Teamsters.

The International Transport Workers' Federation and the International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers' Federation on Oct. 14 announced their support of striking Teamsters at Oak Harbor Freight Lines.

ITF and ITG are not taking any work related action against the clothing retailer which is the trucker's biggest customer. But both federations sent letters to Gap asking the company to "cease doing business with Oak Harbor Freight Lines until the company's owners decide to end their war on workers in a just and equitable manner."

Oak Harbor Freight, based in Auburn, Wash., is one of the largest trucking companies on the West Coast and provides time sensitive delivery services to some of the largest companies in the country.

Teamster local unions have been negotiating with Oak Harbor management since November 2007. Union members walked off the job Sept. 22 after the company cut off health care benefits to all retirees. The Teamsters are picketing Oak Harbor trucks in California, Nevada, Washington, Oregon and Idaho. Teamsters passed out handbills at Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic stores last week, encouraging the retailers to shift shipments to other carriers.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Con-way, Teamsters dispute withdrawal liability

Con-way Inc. filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in San Francisco seeking a declaration that the company isn’t liable for the $662 million in withdrawal liability sought by the $26.8 billon Teamsters Central States, Southeast and Southwest Areas Pension Fund, Rosemont, Ill., according to a filing Oct. 10 to the SEC by the San Mateo, Calif.-based company.

Central States claims the withdrawal liability was incurred by Consolidated Freightways Corp., a former subsidiary of Con-way, which was spun off to stockholders in 1996, the filing states.

“CFC subsequently went bankrupt in 2002” and the multiemployer pension Central States fund assessed CFC a share of the unfunded vested benefits in the pension plan.

Central States further claims the trigger date for assessing the CFC withdrawal liability was the unrelated sale by Con-way in 2004 of its Menlo Worldwide Forwarding Co. unit to United Parcel Service Inc., the filing states. Central States contends that sale resulted in Con-way’s “complete withdrawal” from the pension fund and CFC’s permanent end to its obligation to contribute to it, the filing states.

That later date raised the withdrawal liability to $662 million from $319 million, the higher amount primarily reflecting “the fact that Central States' overall level of underfunding increased substantially from 2002 to 2004,” the filing said.

Payment of all or a significant part of the withdrawal liability claim “could have a material adverse effect on Con-way's financial condition,” the filing said.

Con-way, a transportation and logistics company, has a non-union workforce and has no employees in the Central States fund, said Gary Frantz, communications director.

Thomas C. Nyhan, Central States executive director, and Mark F. Angerame, CFO, were out of the office and unavailable for comment.