Saturday, October 10, 2009

YRC Worldwide selling ex-Roadway headquarters

The former Roadway headquarters on Gorge Boulevard in Akron, part of struggling Kansas trucking company YRC Worldwide, is up for sale.

Asking price for the 270,000-square-foot property: $8 million.

The site at 1077 Gorge Blvd. is where Roadway Express built its headquarters in 1962; a 180,000-square-foot, multistory addition was finished in 1986 at a cost of about $14 million.

The move to sell the Akron property mirrors similar action that YRC undertook earlier this year with its corporate headquarters in Overland Park, Kan., the company said Friday. Full Story........

Friday, October 09, 2009

Teamsters Now Represent Nearly All UPS Freight Drivers and Dockworkers Eligible to Join Union

Nebraska Workers Ratify Contract; Maryland, Kansas Workers Sign Cards

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters now represent nearly all of the 12,600 UPS Freight drivers and dockworkers eligible to join the union, announced Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa.

Nearly 100 workers in Nebraska, Maryland and Kansas recently signed authorization cards to become Teamsters. In Omaha, Neb., 55 workers represented by Local 554 recently ratified their first-ever contract unanimously. The Federalsburg, Md., and Wichita, Kan., workers will be holding ratification votes soon.

The Teamsters kicked off the organizing campaign in 2006 when the union organized UPS Freight workers in Indianapolis and negotiated a contract with the company that was ratified by a 107-1 vote in October 2007. The Teamsters won a card-check agreement from UPS in December 2007, and in January 2008, launched its nationwide campaign.

By November 2008, the Teamsters represented more than 12,400 UPS Freight workers in 42 states. The Teamsters now represent all but two UPS Freight locations that employ 50 workers

"Our continued success to organize UPS Freight workers is a great victory," Hoffa said. "They were determined to become Teamsters and we are proud to have them among our ranks."

"These drivers and dockworkers have shown a great commitment to joining the Teamsters and we look forward to representing them," said Teamsters Package Division Director Ken Hall. "We encourage UPS Freight workers who have not yet signed cards to do so now so they can also start benefiting from a great contract."

James Sheard, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 554 in Omaha said the UPS Freight workers ratified their contract on Oct. 4.

"After they saw the benefits of being a Teamster at other locations around the country, they decided to get on board," Sheard said.

Jesse Castillo, President of Local 795 in Wichita, said the 20 UPS Freight workers there realized that not being a Teamster meant inequality for them.
"They saw inequities in applications and work rules because they were not under a Teamster contract," Castillo said.

Irvin Williams, Vice-President of Local 355 in Baltimore, said the 20 UPS Freight workers at the Federalsburg facility came aboard after seeing a big increase in insurance costs.

"We had a gentleman who was ready to retire but said he couldn't because of the insurance costs," Williams said. "We also had key people who worked very hard on this campaign."

National Share the Road Highway Safety Program Visits Las Vegas Auto Show

Life-saving highway driving tips were presented today as part of the American Trucking Associations' national Share the Road highway safety tour by top professional truck drivers.

The Las Vegas Auto Show provided the perfect backdrop for the elite group of million mile accident-free drivers to share their message of road safety. According to the Nevada Department of Transportation, Nevada ranks as a state with a top ten highest crash rate.

The Las Vegas, Nev. Share the Road stop demonstrated to drivers how to share the road safely with large trucks and follows the American Trucking Associations' annual conference held from Oct. 4-7 in Las Vegas. The presentation will continue through Sunday, with drivers available for interviews in the cab of the truck or in studio.

"It is an honor to be here in Las Vegas educating motorists on how to safely drive around tractor-trailers," said Mark Hassemer, a professional truck driver from YRC. "Nevada serves as a major freight corridor and sees a great deal of traffic. Hopefully drivers can take the tips we give today and use them to drive a little more aware and arrive home safely."

Featured at today's event were professional truck drivers Manny Franco (UPS Freight), Mark Hassemer (YRC), Ron Hawkins (K-Limited Carriers) and Clarence Jenkins, Jr. (UPS Freight). These drivers are members of an elite team of million-mile, accident-free truck drivers who deliver the trucking industry's safety messages across the country.

Hawkins told attendees and reporters at the event that, "Share the Road allows me as a truck driver to give people life-saving advice. Most automobile drivers were never taught what they can do to avoid an accident with a tractor-trailer. By being aware of the blind spots around trucks, all drivers can more easily avoid crashes. This information, and other safety advice, will help everyone to share the roads safely."

Today's presentation of Share the Road safety measures is important for motorists because:

Nevada fatal collisions increased 2.1 percent with 387 traffic deaths in 2006
35 percent of all truck-involved highway fatalities occur in a truck's blind spots (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration).
According to three different studies -- including the AAA Traffic Safety Foundation and DOT, 3 out of 4 truck-involved fatalities are unintentionally initiated by car drivers.

The safety demonstration today at the Las Vegas Auto Show will continue through Sunday. Reporters will be able to view the road from the truck driver's perspective, and learn up close and personal some of the differences between how cars and large trucks operate on the highways. Today's demonstration was designed to teach specific skills to motorists in order to drive safely around other automobiles and around trucks and large commercial vehicles on the highways, and to arrive safely at their destinations.

YRC workers to take unpaid leaves

YRC Worldwide Inc. has capped its severance plan and is requiring nonunion workers to take unpaid leave to cut costs.

Employees have to take eight hours of unpaid time off each month, starting this month and extending through February, though it could end earlier depending on YRC’s performance, company Chief Operating Officer Timothy Wicks said in a Wednesday memo to employees. Employees also can volunteer for sabbaticals of two to eight weeks between October and January, during which they would get 15 percent of salary or basic wages and keep health-care coverage. Full Story.......

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

YRC Worldwide Receives Award for Distinguished Service by the National Defense Transportation Association

Award reflects company's overall commitment to provide flexible solutions, industry-leading support to government entities

YRC Worldwide today announced the company has received a 2009 NDTA Distinguished Service Award for its achievements in the field of transportation and logistics in support of the NDTA and its mission. The company was recently honored with the award at the 63rd Annual NDTA Forum & Exposition in Nashville.

"We are honored to receive an NDTA service award and consider this a direct reflection on our overall commitment to provide government entities with flexible, scalable solutions that are easy to engage," said Dave Johnson, vice president - Enterprise Solutions, and leader of YRCW Government Services. "Whether a natural disaster or everyday shipping needs, our government customers have one-call access to all of our operating company services through a single point of contact."

All YRC Worldwide operating companies are government-approved shipping and transportation providers, and YRC Worldwide is the exclusive transportation and shipping provider to the Federal Emergency Management Association.

YRC Reimer shutters city operations

A U.S.-based shipping company is shutting down its operations in Edmonton Oct. 31 after its unionized employees refused to take cuts in their wages and benefits, says the company's Canadian president.

"It's a tough economy and people have to realize this," said YRC Reimer Canadian president Clayton Gording.

He said about 55 to 60 drivers and warehouse workers will be affected.

Gording said the unionized workers who belong to a Teamsters local voted just days ago against taking a cut in wages and benefits.

The vast majority of Reimer employees in the U.S. took rollbacks earlier this year averaging 25%, Gording said.

Proposed wage rollbacks in Canada were not that large.

He would not give breakdowns on the value of rollbacks the company was seeking in Edmonton. He said it has operated here since the 1950s. Gording said Reimer will continue to service Edmonton through other means.

A spokesman for the Teamsters local union could not be reached for comment.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

TCA Honors ABF Driver Stanley Gorczak as a Highway Angel

Driver helped a hotel clerk through a medical emergency

The Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) is honoring truck driver Stanley P. Gorczak as a Highway Angel for helping someone pull through a medical emergency.

It was August 8, 2009, and Gorczak had checked into the Carlisle Hotel in Omaha, Nebraska, where he planned to spend the night before continuing on his route the next day. A seasoned traveler, Gorczak had come down to the hotel lobby to fill his thermos with coffee before heading back upstairs to his room for the night.

Suddenly, a hotel clerk came running toward Gorczak screaming that Ashley, another hotel employee, had collapsed. Thinking quickly, Gorczak handed his cell phone to the clerk and told her to call 911. He then rushed to help Ashley, who was lying prone on the floor.

Gorczak’s first instinct was to carefully roll Ashley onto her back and check her vital signs. He checked for a heartbeat and looked at her eyes to see if the pupils were dilated. He spoke to Ashley, trying to get her to respond, but she was incoherent. Her eyes were moving left to right underneath her eyelids, but she couldn’t open them. Noticing she was shivering, he sat her up in a chair and covered her with towels. Then, he held her head up to prevent her from choking in case of a seizure. Gorczak patiently waited with Ashley until the paramedics arrived.

“I was just being myself, and I only did what I hope someone would do for me,” said Gorczak modestly. “I was in the right place at the right time to help somebody.”

Actually, this is the second time that Gorczak has helped someone while on duty for ABF. Earlier this year, he was eating at an Illinois truck stop when a customer began choking on a hamburger and fell to the floor. The man was too heavy to pick up, so Gorczak turned him on his side and managed to get him to cough the hamburger out.

Now that Gorczak has been accepted as a TCA Highway Angel, he will receive a Highway Angel lapel pin, certificate, and patch for the kindness he showed to Ashley. ABF Freight System, Inc., will also receive a certificate acknowledging that one of its drivers is a Highway Angel.

YRC Worldwide Advances Functional Organization Structure with Leadership Changes

Company continues to implement comprehensive plan, with focus on customer service, sales and finance

YRC Worldwide today announced the appointment of a chief operating officer and subsequent changes to its senior leadership alignment. The modifications are an advancement of the functional organization structure introduced in June across YRC Worldwide to streamline decision-making, eliminate duplicate efforts and costs while maintaining focus on critical customer-impacting areas.

"As we continue to work our comprehensive plan to restore financial strength and position our company for future growth, the most critical interdependencies rest between finance, operations and sales," stated Bill Zollars, chairman, president and chief executive officer - YRC Worldwide. "Today's actions ensure these key functions are working directly together to meet our service commitments to customers and attain our strategic goals."

The following YRC Worldwide appointments are effective immediately:

Tim Wicks, formerly executive vice president and chief financial officer, assumes the role of chief operating officer - YRC Worldwide, reporting to Zollars. In this new role, Wicks is responsible for sales, marketing, pricing, operations and financial strategy results across the company. Reporting directly to Wicks are Mike Smid, president - YRC Inc., and chief operations officer - YRC Worldwide and John Garcia, executive vice president and chief sales officer - YRC Worldwide. In addition, Greg Reid, executive vice president and chief marketing officer along with Andy Slusher, vice president pricing will report to Wicks.

Also reporting to Wicks is Sheila Taylor, who will assume a new role as executive vice president and chief financial officer - YRC Worldwide. Prior to this position, Taylor served as vice president - Investor Relations and Treasurer. Taylor now leads a consolidated organization comprised of all strategic and operational finance activities across YRC Worldwide. Paul Liljegren will lead Investor Relations and Treasury, and Phil Gaines will assume the role of chief accounting officer, in addition to his other finance duties. Both will report to Taylor, along with Terry Gerrond, vice president -Taxation.

Mike Naatz, executive vice president and chief information and service officer - YRC Worldwide, will take on an expanded role leading revenue management, in addition to billing, quality, information technology and customer service, as the company sharpens its focus on the end-to-end customer experience. Naatz will continue to report to Zollars.

Dan Churay, executive vice president, general counsel and secretary; Jim Kissinger, executive vice president - Human Resources; and John Carr, president - YRC Logistics, remain in their current roles, reporting to Zollars.