Saturday, July 09, 2011

Christopher C. Wren Named Senior Vice President and Treasurer of YRC Worldwide

YRC Worldwide Inc. today announced that Christopher C. Wren has been named senior vice president and treasurer for the corporation. Most recently, Wren served as president of the consulting firm Power I.T., LLC. Previously, he was vice president of corporate development for H&R Block; vice president of product development for Positive Networks, Inc.; and served in a variety of roles with increasing responsibility at Sprint Corporation. Wren began his career as an attorney at the Kansas City law firm of Polsinelli, White, Vardeman & Shalton, P.C.

"I've had the pleasure of working with Topher over the years and I am confident he is the right person to lead the treasury area," said Bill Trubeck, interim executive vice president, chief financial officer of YRCW. "His expertise in operations, technology and legal, along with his proven ability to quickly develop strategic relationships, see the big picture and provide effective solutions -- makes him a perfect choice for this position."

Freight firms in price hike

Two US freight firms have said they will increase prices over the next month and analysts expect others to follow.

In two very similarly worded announcements, UPS Freight, the fourth largest less-than-truckload (LTL) carrier in the US, and ABF Freight announced they planned to hike rates by 6.9%.

UPS said its rate adjustment for non-contractual shipments would take place on 1 August and would apply to minimum charge, LTL rates and accessorial charges.

It will apply to shipments in the US, Mexico and Canada and the impact may vary “based on specific lanes or shipment characteristics, such as weight or class”, UPS said. Full Story.....

Wednesday, July 06, 2011


Teamsters General President Vows To Fight Plan That Threatens Jobs, Highway Safety And Border Security

Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa today castigated the U.S. Department of Transportation for agreeing to open the border to long-haul Mexican trucks. Opening the border endangers America’s highway safety, border security and warehouse and trucking jobs.

Hoffa said the program is probably illegal because it grants permanent operating authority to Mexican trucks after 18 months in the so-called “pilot program” outlined in the proposed rule published in the Federal Register. Congress has not granted DOT the legal authority to do so, Hoffa said. Further, DOT would use money from the Highway Trust Fund to pay for electronic on-board recorders for Mexican trucks. Hoffa questioned whether DOT can do that legally.

“Opening the border to dangerous trucks at a time of high unemployment and rampant drug violence is a shameful abandonment of the DOT’s duty to protect American citizens from harm and to spend American tax dollars responsibly,” Hoffa said.

“This so-called pilot program is a concession to multinational corporations that send jobs to Mexico. It erodes our national security. It endangers motorists. It ignores the rampant corruption among Mexican law enforcement. It lowers wages and robs jobs from hard-working American truck drivers and warehouse workers.

“It adds insult to injury to force U.S. taxpayers to pay for monitoring equipment on Mexican trucks so Mexican carriers can take away their jobs,” Hoffa said. “The DOT shows more loyalty to the Mexican people than it does to Americans.”

The Obama administration closed the border to unsafe Mexican trucks in February 2009 after Congress shut off funds for the cross-border pilot program. Mexico retaliated with excessive tariffs. The Teamsters for two years have urged the administration to bring a challenge against Mexico for imposing excessive tariffs on U.S. goods.

“This pilot program doesn’t even meet NAFTA’s requirement that the Mexican government grant comparable authority to U.S. trucks. No trucking company or driver in their right mind would travel in Mexico under the State Department’s current travel warning,” Hoffa said.

The U.S. State Department on April 22 told U.S. citizens to defer non-essential travel to Nogales and Northern Sonora; Ciudad Juarez and Chihuahua; Durango, Coahuila and Zacatecas; Tamaulipas; Sinaloa and Southern Sonora; San Luis Potosi; Nayarit and Jalisco; and Michoacan.

Since 2007, violence has worsened as drug cartels compete for trade routes to the U.S. More than 40,000 people have been killed, and kidnapping and torture are rampant.

Further, a Homeland Security incident report from Oct. 15, 2010 indicates that drug traffickers have hijacked and cloned legitimate trucks to transport illicit cargo across the border. According to the document, criminals hijacked over 10,000 commercial trucks in 2010 in Mexico.

Hoffa said DOT cannot guarantee the safety of Mexican trucks.

“Mexican trucks simply don’t meet the same standards as U.S. trucks,” he said. “Medical and physical standards for Mexican trucking firms are lower than for U.S. companies. And how can Mexico enforce highway safety laws when it can’t even control drug cartels?

“The Bush-era pilot program was a failure that shouldn’t be repeated,” Hoffa said.

The U.S. government spent $500 million on the pilot program, which began in September 2007. Only about three Mexican trucks per day traveled beyond the border zone until the program was shut down, according to the Transportation Department’s office of inspector general. The inspector general also reported that “FMCSA does not have assurance that it has checked every Mexican truck and driver … when they cross into the border in the United States.”

ABF Wins Appeal Against Teamsters, YRC and TMI

Today, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit (St. Louis) reversed and remanded a lower court's previous dismissal of ABF's lawsuit against the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, YRC, Inc., Trucking Management, Inc. and other related entities. ABF is very pleased with this decision and looks forward to further proceedings on its lawsuit seeking to level the playing field for all parties of the National Master Freight Agreement (NMFA).

When the original lawsuit was filed in November 2010, ABF sought to have the lower court create an appropriate grievance review committee to resolve the dispute, or to have the contract amendments benefiting only YRC declared null and void by the court, as required by the NMFA. ABF also sought an award of monetary damages estimated to be approximately $750 million. ABF will continue to seek that relief on remand.

ABF wins appeal; case returns to federal court

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday (July 6) in favor of Arkansas Best Corp., which returns the company’s lawsuit against YRC and the Teamsters back to a federal district court in Little Rock.

On Nov. 1, Arkansas Best Corp. — the parent company of ABF Freight System — filed a lawsuit seeking the $750 million in financial damages from alleged violations of a National Master Freight Agreement (NMFA) by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and others.

YRC received three rounds of wage and benefit concessions from the Teamsters, with the most recent announced Nov. 1 that includes up to $350 million annually through 2013. Previously, the Teamsters voted to approve a 15% pay cut among unionized YRC drivers. ABF has been unable to receive similar concessions from the union. Full Story.....

Court overturns decision denying ABF’s challenge to YRC concessions

A federal appeals court has overturned a lower court’s ruling that ABF Freight System Inc. lacked the ability to challenge a series of wage and benefit concessions reached in 2009 and 2010 between YRC Worldwide Inc. and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis ruled on Wednesday that the case be returned to the Arkansas court for further proceedings.

YRC is scheduled to complete a financial restructuring plan by the end of this month, a process it had warned would be endangered if the ABF challenge was allowed to continue.