Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Teamster Freight Members at New Penn Approve Job Security Plan

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.

The Real Story

This Editorial appears in the Aug. 31 print edition of Transport Topics.

When trucks and truck drivers are mentioned in the general media, they seem almost invariably to be put in a bad light.

Trucks often are portrayed as noisy, smoky, fire-breathing monsters, scaring the daylights out of everyone else as they roar down the highway.

Drivers usually don’t fare much better. They’re frequently stereotyped as reckless cowboys — irresponsible, badly trained and not caring about the safety of anyone else on the road.

That’s why the National Truck Driving Championships are so refreshing. They tell the real story — the story of drivers and of a trucking industry devoted to safety — all celebrated this year in Pittsburgh, where 415 of the best drivers competed in the “Super Bowl of Safety.”

American Trucking Associations has sponsored the national truck driving challenge since 1937, in an event that allows as competitors only those who have been accident-free for a year. Most contestants have records that far exceed that standard. Full Story.......