Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Teamsters say YRC Worldwide may close regional carrier unless workers approve wage, benefit cuts

Less-than-truckload carrier New Penn Motor Express may be merged into long-haul operator YRC unless union employees reverse course and accept wage and benefit cuts they rejected earlier this month, the Teamsters union said.

YRC Worldwide plans to merge New Penn into YRC unless the “job security plan” approved by YRC and Holland Teamsters is adopted at New Penn, Teamster executive Tyson Johnson said in an Aug. 17 letter to New Penn Teamsters.

Teamsters at New Penn will have the opportunity to vote again on the Job Security Plan, and ballots will be mailed on or about Wednesday, August 19, 2009 and will be due back September 9, 2009.

YRC Worldwide, which sought the labor concessions as part of a larger effort to restructure its operations and debt-ridden finances, did not respond immediately to calls for comment.

Teamsters at long-haul LTL carrier YRC and regional carrier Holland approved wage and benefits cuts Aug. 7 by a 58.5 percent margin.

Teamsters at regional carrier New Penn, however, who belong to a different bargaining unit, rejected the proposal.

At an Aug. 11 emergency meeting with the union's negotiating group, "the company indicated that it plans to call for a change of operations in the near future to merge New Penn into YRCW," Johnson wrote in the letter.

"Because the merger could cost hundreds of Teamster jobs, the majority of New Penn local unions have also requested a revote by New Penn members," wrote Johnson, who is co-chairman of the Teamsters National Freight Industry Negotiating Committee.

New Penn, which became part of what is now YRC when Yellow Corp. acquired Roadway in 2003, has long been considered the best of YRC's regional subsidiaries. It employs more than 2,000 workers and has 24 terminals, primarily in the Northeast.