Thursday, September 17, 2015

Hoffa Joins Congressional Leaders, Retirees at Rally to Stop Pension Cuts

Legislation Sponsored by Sen. Sanders, Rep. Kaptur Will Protect Retirees, Workers

Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa joined Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), retiree advocates and hundreds of retirees on Capitol Hill today to call on Congress to protect the earned retirement benefits of millions of American retirees and workers.

The “Keep Our Pension Promises Act” (KOPPA), sponsored by Sen. Sanders and Rep. Kaptur, would protect workers and retirees from cuts to their earned retirement benefits. The legislation would roll back provisions that were slipped into the fiscal 2015 spending bill approved by Congress last year that made earned pension benefits vulnerable to cuts.

“We’re here to protect pensions. We have retirees here from all across America and this is just the beginning of our fight,” Hoffa said. “Hardworking Americans have earned the right to retire with dignity.”

“We have to send a loud and clear message—when a promise is made to working people, that promise must be kept. We can’t slash pensions in this country,” Sen. Sanders said. “If we stand together, if all Americans stand together, we can win this fight.”

“Your pension benefits are your earned benefits and you have a right to them,” Rep. Kaptur told retirees. “I am proud to stand with you.”

Today, the U.S. Treasury Department held a hearing in Washington, D.C., on finalizing a rule that will open the door to pension cuts for retirees. This rule flies in the face of a long-standing prohibition against cuts for current retirees. If the rule is finalized, it would be the first time that pension retirement security has been compromised since President Gerald Ford signed the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) into law 41 years ago.

Teamsters International Vice President John Murphy spoke at the hearing about the urgency of protecting pensions, and Teamster retirees joined Teamster leaders outside the hearing and at the press conference on Capitol Hill in support of KOPPA.

KOPPA would restore anti-cutback rules so that retirees in financially troubled multi-employer pension plans would be protected from having their earned benefits cut. It ensures that the safety net system supported mostly by employers does not shift to one funded entirely by taxpayers.

In order to shore up the long-term sustainability of the existing federal pension insurance program, KOPPA creates a $30 billion legacy fund over 10 years, paid for by closing two tax loopholes used almost exclusively by the super-rich to avoid paying taxes.

More than 10 million Americans rely on multi-employer pension plans for their retirement security. If action is not taken to protect pensions, some 1.5 million workers in 200 retirement plans nationwide are at risk.

“We’re going to keep fighting,” Hoffa said. “We must work together to protect our retirees and stop these cuts now.”

Labor Department Awards Teamsters $4.6 Million Training Grant

Certified Apprenticeship Programs and Student Recruitment Integral to Program

The Teamsters Safety and Health Department has been awarded a $4.6 million grant by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to establish apprenticeship programs for workers in the trucking industry. The grant will be awarded over a five-year funding cycle.

The DOL published a Notice of Funding Opportunity in the fall of 2014 in an effort to develop a trained workforce in industries that are deemed critical to the U.S. economy and have significant demand for or shortages of qualified workers. It stipulated that lead applicants must qualify as 501(c)5 non-profit organizations and have partners including at least three employers, from the following companies:

ABC Moving Services is a regional corporate moving company;
ABF Freight is a national freight trucking company;
DiSilva Transportation, Inc. is a regional logistics company;
National Retail Systems, Inc. is a national retail delivery trucking company.
ABC Moving Services, DiSilva Transportation and National Retail Systems are signatory to collective bargaining agreements with Teamsters Local Union 25, located in Boston, Mass.

"The Teamsters are at the forefront of worker training and this new grant from the Labor Department will enable workers to get the skills that employers seek," said James P. Hoffa, Teamsters General President.

In addition to creating certified apprenticeship programs, the grant funding must be used to develop qualified instructors and provide training to recent high school graduates, incumbent Teamster members who are transitioning from non-driving transportation jobs to jobs that require Class A or Class B Commercial Driver's Licenses, and military personnel who are transitioning to civilian life. Student recruitment will be conducted at high schools and vocational schools, community-based organizations that support underserved communities, Teamster Local Unions, and select military bases.

"We are honored to accept this grant from the Department of Labor," said Lamont Byrd, Director of the Teamsters Safety and Health Department. "We have wanted to focus on training of apprentices for some time and this award will allow us to do just that. Many young people just starting their careers need professional training and guidance – both of which will be available through the qualified Teamster instructors who will implement the program."

XPO’s Dive into Trucking Raises Concerns, Prompts Ratings Review

XPO Logistics Inc.’s $3 billion deal to acquire trucker Con-way Inc. just months after another multi-billion dollar deal is raising investor concerns and scrutiny over the company’s ability to combine two businesses.

Moody’s Investors Service Inc. on Thursday placed its ratings for XPO’s credit rating for a possible downgrade from a current rating that is already classified as high risk. “The sheer pace and magnitude of recent acquisitions elevates forward execution risk and balance sheet leverage relative to earlier expectations, and could be exacerbated further by increasing macroeconomic weakness,” Moody’s senior credit officer Chris Wimmer wrote in a report on the action.

The company did not immediately respond to requests for comment the Moody’s review, issued late Thursday.

Investors have hit the company’s shares since the acquisition of French trucking company Norbert Dentressangle SA closed in June. XPO shares are down about 40% since hitting their 2015 high in late May, including a 11% decline on Thursday to end at a more-than one-year low of $30.24.

The Con-way acquisition announced Wednesday deal will make XPO one of the largest freight transportation providers in the U.S., advancing a plan to become an all-in-one logistics and transportation firm. Unusually in the fragmented trucking market, XPO will offer a wide array of services, including short-haul trucking at ports and freight brokering. The company is betting that diverse mix will allow it to lower costs and win bigger clients.

But success will rest largely on the ability of XPO, which generates most of its revenue in the asset-light business of matching shippers with carriers, to operate Con-way’s trucking fleet. That could be a challenge as the company is still digesting its purchase of Norbert Dentressangle in June and numerous other acquisitions in the last five years, analysts say.

Concerns about the pace of integration were heightened last week, when HervĂ© Montjotin, Norbert’s former chief executive, who had headed XPO’s European arm since the acquisition, resigned.

Offering so many shipping services under one roof “is a very interesting capability [that] immediately catapults XPO into a different stratosphere”, said Mike Regan, chief of relationship development at TranzAct Technologies Inc., which helps shippers negotiate freight rates. “But to what extent am I willing to bet my supply chain on their being able to seamlessly integrate their capabilities? That’s a big question.”

XPO Chief Executive Bradley Jacobs said in an interview earlier Thursday that his company would win back investors who had lost faith in the company after the latest acquisitions.

Full story here.....

YRC's Welch: 'This turnaround still has legs'

With the best quarter during his time at the helm of YRC Worldwide Inc. under his belt, CEO James Welch didn’t take much time to celebrate. Instead, he started thinking about consistent performance in the next quarter.

On Thursday, Welch was in Boston giving a presentation at a transportation conference hosted by New York-based Cowen & Co. There, he gave an update on the company’s improved performance and fielded questions about YRC and his read on the industry.  Here’s a quick look at his comments:

Searching for consistency

Welch, who has led the Overland Park-based company out of serious trouble since he joined in 2011, said he didn’t spend a lot of time thinking about the company’s second quarter. He was focused on bringing about consistent performance for the rest of the year. YRC suffered wild swings while it tackled debt refinancing, labor negotiations and other big issues, but he said the company finally is starting to find some of that consistency.

Through half of 2015, YRC is profitable. That’s a huge accomplishment for a company that many wrote off before Welch took the CEO job. Although he couldn’t say exactly how things are going in the third quarter — YRC is expected to release those results in late October — he expects the company will start to show some of that consistent performance.

Welch attributed that to YRC's focus on moving more profitable freight and its steady reorganization of its freight network. The network was not properly integrated when predecessors Yellow and Roadway merged, he said, and lingering issues have cost the company since 2009. The summer, Welch said, was the first he’s witnessed where YRC did not suffer from some kind of network issues.

Full story here........

Hoffa Statement of Support of Bipartisan Effort to Repeal Excise Tax on High-Quality Health Plans

Bipartisan Senate Bill to be Introduced That Would Repeal ACA ‘Cadillac Tax’ on Health Plans

The following is the official statement of Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa in response to the announcement of the introduction of a bipartisan companion bill in the Senate to HR 2050 which would repeal an excise tax set to be charged on those enrolled in high-quality health care plans provided by the Teamsters and other organizations.

Rep. Joe Courtney (D-Conn.), who introduced HR 2050 the “Middle Class Health Benefits Tax Repeal Act” in April, joined Sens. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) at a press conference today to show support for their bill.

“The Teamsters support this bipartisan effort to repeal the destructive excise tax that is set to take effect in 2018. This tax will levy a heavy burden on working families that they cannot afford. It is unacceptable that hardworking Americans are being penalized for having a quality health care plan.

“We must repeal this tax and protect middle-class Americans from additional economic hardship before it takes effect. I applaud Rep. Courtney and Sens. Heller and Heinrich for joining together to present a bipartisan effort against this ill-advised tax.”

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

ArcBest Corporation Announces Groundbreaking for New Headquarters

ArcBest Corporation announced it will break ground for construction on its new corporate headquarters at a ceremony at 1:30 p.m. April 15 at Chaffee Crossing in Fort Smith. Gov. Asa Hutchinson also is scheduled to attend the ceremony.

In May 2014, ArcBest, a transportation and logistics company, announced the purchase of 40 acres off McClure Drive in east Fort Smith for the corporation's new headquarters. The approximate 200,000-square-foot building is expected to be completed in late 2016 and will help ease the company's current tight quarters as it continues to experience significant growth.

"Nearly one year ago we announced the start of a new era for our organization," said ArcBest President and Chief Executive Officer Judy R. McReynolds. "I am truly excited to take the next step toward another milestone as we break ground on a new company headquarters, which will support our plan to create 975 additional jobs in Fort Smith through 2021. We believe this region possesses a great pool of talent, and we look forward to having these exceptional employees build a career with us."

Once complete, the four-story building is anticipated to house approximately 850 employees of ArcBest corporate and ABF LogisticsSM, as well as Panther Premium Logistics® personnel who work in Fort Smith. While the building will allow for growth, the company also has an option to purchase 30 additional acres for future expansion.

"With the upcoming construction of its new corporate headquarters and plans to grow the company's local workforce, ArcBest is making a significant investment in Fort Smith," Hutchinson said. "The transportation and logistics sector is a large part of Sebastian County's economy. Tomorrow's groundbreaking further strengthens Arkansas's reputation as one of the nation's logistics hubs."

ABF FreightSM, the company's flagship subsidiary, will remain located at the current office at 3801 Old Greenwood Road, along with ArcBest Technologies, the company's IT solutions group. The relocation of ArcBest and ABF Logistics employees will create room for growth and expansion of ABF Freight and ArcBest Technologies at the existing facility.

Situated in newly developed Chaffee Crossing, the new headquarters will be east of Massard Road near the historic McClure Amphitheater. The location also will include easily accessible bike and walking trails.

ABF Freight Receives National LTL Carrier of the Year Award

For the third consecutive year, ABF Freight has earned the National LTL Carrier of the Year Award from the National Shippers Strategic Transportation Council.

ABF Freight was recognized during the NASSTRAC Annual Shippers Conference and Transportation Expo in Orlando, Florida, April 12-15. It is the fifth time the company has been recognized in the last six years — 2015, 2014, 2013, 2011 and 2010.

“Being named the 2015 National LTL Carrier of the Year is indeed an honor. Recognition from NASSTRAC is particularly rewarding since this council represents the vitally important voice of shippers,” said ABF Freight President Tim Thorne. “By giving ABF Freight this award, NASSTRAC is honoring employees whose dedication to safety, cargo handling and customer service inspires confidence among customers throughout North America. Our people have earned a reputation as the safest, most conscientious, highly innovative members of our industry, and it’s gratifying to have their efforts once again recognized as exemplary.”

Through its annual Carrier of the Year Awards Program, NASSTRAC recognizes carriers that have demonstrated excellence in transportation. The program also helps shippers to identify the best of the best in carrier performance and value. Regular members of NASSTRAC who are qualified buyers of transportation services grade all carriers that are members on a quantitative scale in five key areas: 1) customer service; 2) operational excellence; 3) pricing; 4) business relationship; and 5) leadership and technology. The NASSTRAC Carrier of the Year program is co-sponsored by Logistics Management, a leading trade magazine for buyers of logistics services.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Teamsters pension trustees to pursue benefit cuts

Law co-sponsored by Rep. John Kline allows changes in multi-employer funds. Proposal for cuts was unveiled Wednesday

The financially strapped Teamsters Central States Pension Fund will pursue benefit cuts to retirees — including thousands in Minnesota — under a new federal law co-sponsored by Rep. John Kline, R.-Minn.

At a meeting in a Chicago suburb Wednesday, the fund’s trustees told union leaders from across the Midwest that they will pursue a “rescue plan,” said Trevor Lawrence, secretary-treasurer of Teamsters Local 638, which represents workers in Minnesota and North Dakota.

“Everybody came out thinking there will be cuts,” said Lawrence, who attended the meeting. “I don’t think anybody was happy. But the people in the room understood if you don’t do something now, the cuts will be deeper later.”

The Central States Pension Fund, which serves roughly 410,000 participants, is having trouble taking in as much in investments and member contributions as it pays out to retirees. If that situation remains unchanged, the fund’s trustees say the plan will become insolvent within roughly a decade.

The fund will send a preliminary letter to some pensioners this week describing its intentions to reduce benefits. But the size of the cuts and when those cuts will take effect depend on approval of a benefit reduction plan by union members and the U.S. Treasury Department.

Lawrence said the Central States Fund is seeking Treasury Department guidance with an eye toward making a summer proposal detailing the cuts. The cuts, he said, likely will not go into effect until 2016.

Full story here...........

Counting on IT to Deliver Top Investment Returns

Jason Ringgenberg arrived at YRC Worldwide in April of 2014, after the company’s latest debt restructuring and union labor agreement. So, unlike his fellow executives who report directly to CFO Jamie Pierson, all he knows about the worst of the company’s financial woes is what he’s heard.

Ringgenberg is distinct from his counterparts in another way: he’s not a finance executive, but rather YRC’s chief information officer. He came on board at an opportune time for a CIO, in that the company was looking to technology to reap top returns on its discretionary investment dollars.

With YRC still sitting on a debt load of more than $1 billion and interest payments topping $100 million a year, it might seem that continuing to retire that debt would be of paramount importance. But small-dollar investments, especially technology-oriented ones, can generate a far better return.

For example, the company invested about $3.7 million in 2014 on dimensioners, which use laser technology to precisely measure freight in order to make sure YRC gets fully paid for its services. That investment will be fully recouped this year, company officials say, and will generate millions in incremental revenue each year going forward. If that $3.7 million had been used to reduce debt, the impact on annual interest expense would have been, figuratively, pennies.

Full story here....

OOIDA tries to join Teamsters’ case against FMCSA, cross-border trucking as intervenor

Following the Teamsters March-filed lawsuit against the Department of Transportation over its expansion of the cross-border trucking, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association this week announced it seeks to join the driver union’s litigation.

The Teamsters’ suit seeks to block the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s opening of U.S. authority application process to all Mexican-based carriers, claiming the agency did not have enough data to make necessary safety determinations about Mexican-domiciled carriers.

OOIDA filed a petition with the U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit seeking to intervene in the lawsuit on behalf of small-business truck operators. “OOIDA can bring a unique practical and legal perspective compared to the other petitioners regarding the ability of Mexico-domiciled trucking companies to operate safely on U.S. highways,” the association wrote in its announcement. “Additionally, the motion points out that the economic interests of small-business truck drivers differs from the interests represented by the other petitioners.”

Monday, April 06, 2015

YRC's Pierson talks new compensation plan, turnaround

Jamie Pierson doesn't want to take all the credit for YRC Worldwide Inc.'s turnaround effort.

Since joining the company in 2011, the Overland Park-based less-than-truckload carrier has come a long way. It has dodged bankruptcy and default fears, reorganized its labor agreement with its union employees and reached a new debt agreement that will allow the company to focus on doing business. With two straight profitable quarters under its belt, YRC is feeling better in 2015 and attracting new investors.

"I don't feel like that much of a piece of it. I consider myself one piece of a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle," Pierson said in a exclusive interview. "It wasn't just me or (CEO James Welch), it was every single employee in this company.

"When James took over in July 2011, analysts didn't think we'd see the end of 2011 let alone 2012, and here we are in 2015 continuing to make small but substantial steps to returning ourselves to ... market margin."

Pierson also had high praise for Welch and said the company's CEO likely would give a similar answer. Pierson said Welch finds the time to reply to every email he receives from YRC employees
"I am blown away by him," Pierson said. "If it wasn't for him I wouldn't have come over."

Full story here.........

YRC closes $18M debt-for-equity swap

YRC Worldwide Inc. has completed a debt-for-equity swap allowing it to keep $18 million in cash it would have paid to Series B Note holders.

The Overland Park-based less-than-truckload carrier (Nasdaq: YRCW) announced in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that it entered into an exchange agreement with holders of the company's 10 percent Series B Convertible Senior Secured Notes due 2015. YRC agreed to exchange shares of its common stock for "approximately $17.04 million aggregate principal amount of its Series B Notes and the accrued and unpaid interest."

In an interview, CFO Jamie Pierson said the move clears the last "little sliver" of debt related to a transaction that closed in February 2014. It allows the company to trade debt worth about $18 million for 994,689 shares of YRC's common stock. Pierson said the creditors could have asked for cash for those notes but instead chose to invest in YRC's future.

"As opposed to taking the cash, they are actually investing in the company and the long-term value of the stock," Pierson said. "If they did not believe (in the company), they would have taken the cash."
Pierson said the swap is a good deal for YRC and allows it to invest the cash in technology and revenue equipment — such as tractors and trailers­— and it also deleverages the company, or reduces its overall debt burden. YRC still has more than $1 billion in debt that matures in 2019.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Shortfalls sabotage promise of union retirees' pensions

Joe Rossi thought he was done driving trucks when he retired in December.

At 60, he had saved enough to supplement his union pension for a couple of years until he could collect Social Security.

But he is rethinking his plans because he may not have enough money.

“I'm probably going to go back to work,” said Rossi, a Penn Hills resident and former president of Teamsters Local 249. “Because of the potential cuts to my multi-employer pension fund, I'm probably going to go back to work until I'm eligible for my full Social Security.”

Once considered sacrosanct, many retiree pensions may no longer be secure. A change in federal law passed last year with bipartisan support would allow struggling union pension funds to cut benefits for retirees younger than 75 by as much as 60 percent.

The law applies only to the most severely underfunded private-sector, multi-employer plans, or those that include more than one company's workers.

Declines in union membership and expanding life spans of retirees were threatening the solvency of union pension funds when the financial crisis in 2008 brought huge investment losses.

Some funds recovered. But many have not, and have the option to pull back commitments to individuals who could be more than a decade into retirement.

Full story here..........

Hoffa Addresses First Graduates Of Military Job Training Program

CDL Program Helps Veterans Transition to Civilian Careers in Transportation

Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa took part in a ceremony recognizing the first graduates of a program that helps active military personnel transition to a career in transportation. The ceremony was held at the Army’s new Industrial Training Complex (ITC) in Fort Sill, Okla. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was also held to inaugurate the ITC.

The innovative six-week program is the result of a partnership between the Teamsters Military Assistance Program, U.S. Army, Fort Sill, ABF Freight, Soldier For Life, the Department of Defense and the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command. The program provides Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) instruction behind the wheel, as well as in a traditional classroom setting. Trainings will be repeated for new classes throughout the year.

“The men and women who defend and protect our country deserve good, full-time jobs when they return home. I am proud that our union is working in this great partnership to honor our military veterans and help them transition to a rewarding civilian career,” Hoffa said.

Michael Yauger, National Director of the Teamsters Military Assistance Program, said the ITC is the culmination of years of planning and hard work.

“We made it our mission to get this talent pool of men and women the certification and training they need to be on the path to the American Dream,” Yauger said.

"Fort Sill is proud to open our Industrial Training Complex today," said Col. Glenn Waters, Garrison Commander at Fort Sill." The ITC will provide training and job skill certification needed by industries that will be facing critical personnel needs in the next decade. Our soldiers will be provided training by the industry that most likely will become their future employers."

"Providing training and employment opportunities for our transitioning soldiers will send a message to the next generation of Americans who will make up the future all-volunteer force. Our future soldiers will decide whether to serve based, in part, on how we care for our current veterans and how we support our transitioning soldiers and families as they reintegrate back into civilian life," said Col. Adam Rocke, Director of Soldier For Life.

An estimated one million soldiers will leave the Army over the next decade. Veterans bring knowledge, skills and experience back from their service, and many active military members already possess the foundation for successful careers in transportation.
Natalie Walker, a graduate of the program, has served in the Army for nine years and will start work at ABF Freight in Nashville, Tenn., in May.

“I’ve driven trucks in the military, but I’ve learned a lot from the instructors here. They’re knowledgeable and helpful. I’m looking forward to starting a new chapter in my life. This is an outstanding program and a great opportunity for any solider to have,” Walker said.
Staff Sgt. Jerry Pitkin has been with the Army for 15 years and is looking forward to starting work at ABF Freight in the Seattle area after graduation.

“I’ve always had security in the military and I want that coming out, too, because I have two daughters,” said Pitkin, whose father was a Teamster. “People need to understand what is being done here and the impact that this can have for soldiers coming out. It’s a tremendous thing.”

Once the CDL is earned by a participant, the union and ABF Freight provide job placement assistance within the nationwide ABF Freight network. Other transportation providers are expected to join the program in the future. With over 130,000 soldiers transitioning from military service to civilian life annually, this program will help meet a critical need

Friday, March 27, 2015

Why This Transportation Stalwart Isn't Built to Last

It's true: Comprising 14,700 owned and leased tractors, and some 45,800 trailers, the combined fleets of YRC Worldwide's Freight and Regional Transportation divisions make this company a true transportation stalwart -- one of the biggest trucking companies in the nation.

But how long will that remain true?

The bull case for YRC

In an ideal world, YRC's huge size should bring with it revenue riches, enviable efficiencies of scale, and beaucoup profits. In reality, only one of these is true. With $5.1 billion in trailing revenues, the company is nearly as big as trucking rivals Old Dominion Freight and ArcBest Corporation combined. Yet YRC's minuscule operating profit margin (just 0.7%) is worse than either of these companies', and YRC ended 2014 in the red with an $86 million net loss.

Still, some investors see hope for the company. In a mostly positive article on YRC's "turnaround," CFO magazine praised YRC in February for engineering a return to "positive net income" in Q3 2014, "even if it was just $1.2 million and enabled by a $4.4 million net operating loss carryforward. In the fourth quarter net income climbed to $6.2 million, and full-year 2014 operating earnings surged."

Full story...............

Thursday, March 26, 2015

YRC Freight Honored as Walmart's National LTL Carrier of the Year

Safety and Service Highlighted in Award Recognition

YRC Freight has been selected to receive the 2014 National LTL Carrier of the Year award from Walmart. YRC Freight was chosen for its outstanding service, effective communication, excellent safety standards, and innovative solutions. The winner is selected by Walmart's transportation executive team. This will be the third time in 5 years that Walmart has selected YRC Freight for this distinction. YRC Freight and Walmart have a long-standing partnership serving the LTL needs of one of the most sophisticated supply chains in the world.

"We are grateful that Walmart has chosen us for this prestigious award," said Darren Hawkins, President of YRC Freight. "This means a lot to us. With every shipment and every mile, our employees worked hard last year to help Walmart achieve their goals. Walmart has high expectations for safety and service and our team showed the drive and dedication to surpass those expectations 24 hours a day, seven days a week."

"Walmart takes great pride in cultivating relationships with exceptional carriers throughout the United States," said Kevin X. Jones, Vice President of Walmart Inbound Transportation. "Partnering with companies like YRC Freight is essential to accomplishing and exceeding our important goals."

YRC Freight's national network offers significant capacity and coverage to Walmart and their suppliers. YRC Freight has engineered their network to accommodate the shipping needs of companies like Walmart and their suppliers who place a high value on safety, service, communications and innovative shipping solutions.

"It really comes down to the hard work of 20,000 employees, day in and day out," said Hawkins. "It's every driver, every dock worker, every person at YRC Freight going above and beyond the call of duty to create the best possible customer experience—whether it's for one shipment or 1,000 shipments."

Lawmakers, Workers Can Both Play A Role To Fix The Economy

The U.S. is more than five years into an economic recovery, and things are still not OK.

There may be more jobs now, but many of them don’t pay enough to support a family. While there has been no shortage of proposals or tinkering on the edges in an attempt to improve things, it’s time for policymakers to consider a new idea – it’s the economic model, stupid!

Today’s job marketplace, due in part to big businesses’ manipulation of the system, is not providing enough employment opportunities for middle-class workers. While our society has produced $30 trillion in new wealth, it has also put six million more children on food stamps. This nation cannot be satisfied with a market-based regime that supports 115,000 households in this country to earn $10 million a year but also allows 138,000 children to be homeless. That’s not the American way.

Income inequality has gripped the U.S. workforce because political leaders have embraced an economic platform that puts corporations above workers. Unions were undercut, and with that wages. But that still wasn’t enough for wealthy industrialists. The manufacturing base was forfeited to cheaper labor overseas due to devastating trade agreements that gave away jobs instead of creating them. But companies took more money to the bank.

The most recent round of elections has left workers with a diminished voice in Washington. But there is one issue that may have enough bipartisan appeal to help spur its consideration and passage – infrastructure investment. Whether it’s roads or transit or water or broadband, America needs projects that help workers and business alike. Work in all these areas has the potential to do so.

Workers can also do their part by organizing for power in the workplace. When workers stand together, they earn better pay and benefits. Don’t believe it? These Department of Labor statistics prove it. There is a reason why many workers choose to join the Teamsters and other unions. Now more need to follow that same pathway to the middle class.

YRC adds new seat, member to board

Patricia Nazemetz is the newest member of YRC Worldwide Inc.’s board.

On Tuesday, the Overland Park-based less-than-truckload carrier announced that its board has expanded by one member and has named Nazemetz to fill the new seat. Nazemetz, the principal of Sleepy Hollow, N.Y., consulting firm NAZ DEC LLC, was chief human resource officer at Xerox Corp. (Nasdaq: XRX) for more than 30 years. She serves on numerous medical and education boards.

According to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Nazemetz will be a director until the 2015 annual meeting on April 28. At the meeting, she will be formally nominated for election by the board for the 2015-2016 term.

Full story here..........

Company ‘Lives Another Day’ Thanks to Revenue Collection

In YRC's darkest days, a concerted accounts receivable effort kept the company's doors open some days

When YRC Worldwide was going through epic financial troubles, starting in 2008, to outside observers a perhaps unsung hero was Joe Whitsel, the company’s vice president of cash management.

With YRC at times battling to stave off bankruptcy, the daily accounts receivable inflow made the difference all too often for comfort. It became extremely crucial that everyone in Whitsel’s group understood how their roles impacted the company’s revenue collection capabilities.

As well, they needed to know exactly where the company stood with respect to days sales outstanding (DSO) and the weighted average days to pay vendors. It was also a high priority for the group to make sure the sales and finance teams understood those metrics too.

Full story here.......

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

YRC Worldwide updating fleet and searching for drivers

After years of deferring major truck purchases, YRC Worldwide is preparing to shed some old equipment and replace it with new tractor-trailers. The $5.1 billion less-than-truckload operator is trading up both trucks and technology, CEO James Welch said at the Truckload & Logistics Council’s 41st annual conference here Monday.

“We’re going to onboard a lot of new equipment,” Welch told the more than 200 shippers, brokers and truckers at the event. “We’re going to spend as much money as we can generate on buying new equipment over the next several years.” YRC Worldwide is leasing equipment, rather than buying it outright, a strategy it has pursued over the past couple of years as the company battles to narrow its losses. With the U.S. economy growing more steadily, and its bottom and top lines improving, YRC Worldwide is reinvesting in its assets.

In its fourth-quarter earnings conference call, CFO Jamie Pierson said YRC Worldwide plans to bring 600 new Class 8 tractors onboard in the first half of 2015, and noted the LTL operator was trading in the power units that had racked up the most mileage. That addressed concerns raised by analysts about the advanced age of some YRC Worldwide trucks.

Full story.......

Monday, March 23, 2015

Holland Encourages Women to Take the Wheel

Holland, an industry-leader in next-day transportation, has expanded its efforts to attract women to the professional driving occupation through its Silver-Level partnership with Women in Trucking (WIT). As part of the sponsorship, Holland will be a key supporter of WIT's "Salute to Women Behind the Wheel" event at the Mid-America Trucking Show (MATS) in Louisville, KY at 11:00 a.m. (EDT) on March 28.

Holland's involvement in Women in Trucking and the March event underscore the company's ongoing efforts to encourage women to explore the opportunities for interesting, well-paying careers as professional drivers. Visit Holland at booth #63025 during the Mid-America Trucking Show, March 26-28.

"We already have dozens of women behind the wheel, serving customers as both city and over-the-road drivers at terminals throughout our network," said Steve Blubaugh, Holland's Vice President of Human Resources. "These professionals prove every day that being a driver can be a satisfying career choice for both women and men. We are always eager to speak with potential new employees, both female and male, who are able to meet our high standards for safety, service and reliability. I hope our involvement with the Women in Trucking organization encourages more women to consider careers as professional drivers--and specifically, drivers for Holland--as a career option."

Holland partnered with Women in Trucking to help overcome the misperception that women can't perform the duties of a professional driver. Through its outreach, education and events like "Salute to Women Behind the Wheel," WIT is playing an important part in encouraging many talented and capable women who are interested in driving to pursue that interest.

"Opportunities for women have never been better than they are now," said Chastity Troyer, Holland's recruiting manager. "Transportation companies like Holland are eager to find new, qualified drivers to add to our team. Working together with Women in Trucking, we will continue to remove the obstacles faced by women who would like or want to pursue a career in trucking."

The "Women Behind the Wheel" event at MATS is open to all women drivers holding valid commercial operator's licenses. The event will recognize the service provided to the industry by professional female drivers.

Watch a video featuring Holland driver Melody Clark, as she talks about why she chose a career in trucking and what she does each day on the job. For more information about Women in Trucking, visit

Significant pension cuts loom for retirees

Since Whitley Wyatt retired in 2000 after 33 years as a trucker, he’s collected a pension of $3,300 a month.

Now, the 71-year-old says as much as $2,000 of his monthly check is at risk because of legislation passed by Congress last year that is meant to help underfunded multiemployer pension plans bolster their finances by giving them a way to cut benefits for some retirees.

“We definitely will have to adjust our lifestyle,” he said of him and his wife if there is a cut that big. “We have ongoing and increasing medical expenses. It could be catastrophic just from the respect of the money we contribute to charity and church (and) money we contribute to our grandkids for their future education.”

Wyatt, of Washington Court House, said he doubts many other retirees are aware of the risk to their pension as a result of the legislation passed in December as part of a spending bill meant to run the federal government through the rest of its fiscal year.

The legislation affecting the retirees was added at the last minute. It is targeted at companies that enter into pension plans with other companies.

There are about 10 million workers and retirees in 1,400 multiemployer plans, according to the Pension Rights Center in Washington.

Full story here..............

Saturday, March 21, 2015

NOL Carryforward Nightmare

A tax rule designed to apply to M&A events snares YRC, limiting its use of financial losses to offset future gains

This is the fourth in a series of six articles about the volatile financial misfortunes and turnaround of trucking company YRC Worldwide.

Terry Gerrond is like all employees of YRC Worldwide: each time the company completed another refinancing, staving off bankruptcy or worse, he got to keep his job.

But Gerrond has a special perspective. As vice president of taxation, he frowns at one side effect of the refinancings: a limitation on using YRC’s net operating losses (NOLs) to mitigate future tax liabilities.

Each of the company’s debt restructurings in 2009, 2011, and 2014 was subject to IRS rules that limit the amount of NOLs that can be carried forward at any point in time when there’s been greater than a 50% change in company ownership compared with three years prior. Each restructuring was marked by enough new equity investment, lenders’ conversion of convertible notes from debt to equity, or both to reach that threshold. (Interestingly, YRC also reached the threshold in 2013, simply because of significant investors buying or selling the stock, and convertible debt holders exercising their conversion rights.)

The rules — which have been part of the tax code for many decades, as most recently amended in the Tax Reform Act of 1986 — have a meritorious purpose: to prevent profitable companies from buying money-losing companies at bargain prices and using the latter’s NOLs to mitigate their own tax liabilities. But the rules are written broadly enough that they apply to other scenarios as well.

Full story here...............

Hoffa Statement on USTR Trade Deficit Claims

The following is the official statement from Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa in response to United States Trade Representative Michael Froman’s claims that the U.S. has a trade surplus with its free trade agreement partners, contradicting U.S. International Trade Commission data showing a large trade deficit.

“The U.S. Trade Representative has made recent statements claiming that the U.S. has a trade surplus with its free trade agreement partners. The problem is this simply is not true.

“We see firsthand the devastating impact that free trade agreements, like the South Korea trade deal, have on American workers and our economy. The South Korea agreement had its third anniversary recently, but this was little cause for celebration. This trade deal resulted in the loss of 84,000 good U.S. jobs and caused the trade deficit to soar to 84 percent.

“Mr. Froman believes this agreement has been great for the U.S. auto industry. In reality, the vehicle trade deficit with South Korea has grown by 43 percent under the agreement, which resulted in a $21.1 billion automotive trade deficit with South Korea last year. This means lost jobs and wages for American workers.

“What’s even scarier is the South Korea trade agreement is the template for the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

“Americans oppose fast-track trade promotion authority to pass the TPP, which threatens jobs, wages, food safety and environmental protections. It’s important for our elected leaders to keep the impact of the trade deficit in mind when considering agreements like the TPP and its impact on workers.”

YRC's top executives earn big increases in total compensation in 2014

YRC Worldwide Inc.'s top executives received large increases in total compensation in 2014, according to the company's annual proxy statement.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Overland Park-based less-than-truckload carrier filed its annual proxy statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The filing disclosed the amount paid to YRC's top executives and directors in 2014.

In 2014, the following executives received greater compensation than in 2013:

  • CEO James Welch earned $10,795,025, an increase of more than $8.6 million over the $2,170,630 Welch received in 2013
  • CFO Jamie Pierson earned $6,985,251, an increase of more than $4.9 million over the $1,999,223 Pierson received in 2013
  • Michelle Friel, executive vice president, general counsel and secretary at YRC Worldwide, earned $1,881,929, an increase of $915,769 over the $966,160 Friel received in 2013. She left YRC in January

Full story here..............

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Teamster lawsuit little threat to US-Mexico truck trade even if successful

Even if the Teamsters fail to overturn a recent federal decision to allow Mexican motor carriers to haul loads past the border region, the impact of the new program may be negligible anyway.

The majority of U.S.-Mexico cross-border trade is shuttled over the border region, and interest from Mexican trucking companies in hauling goods farther inland and back to Mexico has received scant interest. To date, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has received just four applications from Mexican trucking firms after the agency announced in January that Mexican drivers could apply to move loads into the U.S. and back to their home country. The move brought the United States into compliance with the North American Free Trade Agreement that's been in effect for two decades.

The four applications is a paltry sum compared to the number of qualified motor carriers in Mexico that could participate, given the program is open to all interested parties. It’s also considerably less than the 15 motor carriers that previously participated in a FMCSA three-year pilot — a pilot meant to test the stability of the very program now in dispute.

Nevertheless, the Teamsters Union has refused to back down. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, alongside the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety and the Truck Safety Coalition, filed a joint suit March 10 against the U.S. Department of Transportation, aiming to keep Mexican trucks out.  Full Story........

Saturday, March 14, 2015

FedEx Freight Workers in California Vote to Join Teamsters Local 439

Drivers in Stockton Seek Job Security, Improved Health Plan, Pension

A group of 50 drivers at FedEx Freight's Stockton, Calif., terminal have voted to join Teamsters Local 439. The vote took place Thursday, March 12 and today, and the workers voted 33 to 12 to become Teamsters.

"The company spent huge amounts of money and time to try to get us to vote no, but we remained focused on changing how FedEx treats us so that we can have a say on the job," said Mel Mendieta, a FedEx Freight driver.

"We know that the only way to win job security, an improved health plan and strong retirement security is to stand together as Teamsters," said Jorge Lopez, a driver.

"I am proud of the workers here in Stockton for sticking together despite the company's pressure," said Ken Guertin, Local 439 Secretary-Treasurer. "We will work hard to negotiate a strong contract that gives these workers their rights and protections in writing."

This victory follows three previous ones in 2014: On November 19, a group of 222 drivers at FedEx Freight in Charlotte, N.C., voted to join Teamsters Local 71; on Oct. 31, a group of 113 drivers at FedEx Freight in South Brunswick, N.J., joined Teamsters Local 701 in North Brunswick, N.J.; and on Oct. 14, a group of 47 drivers in Croydon, Pa., voted to join Teamsters Local 107 in Philadelphia. Other campaigns at FedEx Freight and at Con-way Freight are under way across the country.

"This latest victory in Stockton shows the growing worker resentment toward FedEx Freight for years of being treated unfairly," said Jim Hoffa, Teamsters General President. "This campaign continues to gain momentum and we are excited to be working with FedEx Freight employees across the country to help them improve their lives."

The workers' campaigns to join the Teamsters have already paid off. At FedEx Freight, the company announced an 80-cent-per-hour raise a few days after Local 107 filed for an election, and the company got rid of its overly punitive driver scorecard, which gave drivers infraction points for errors. Also, after organizing got under way at Con-way, the company announced it would increase truck driver pay by $60 million in 2015, and other improvements.

"The companies are offering pay raises and other improvements at the same time we are organizing, but the workers know that these things can be taken away just as quickly without a legally binding contract," said Tyson Johnson, Director of the Teamsters National Freight Division. "The unfulfilled promises that have been made to drivers and dockworkers over the past decade are coming back to haunt management."

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Teamsters Take Action To Protect Highway Safety, Stop Mexican Trucks

Union Files Lawsuit Against DOT’s Decision To Open Border To Mexican Trucks

The Teamsters Union filed a legal challenge to the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) recent decision to open the border to Mexican trucks. The union was joined by Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety and the Truck Safety Coalition.

The lawsuit, filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, contends that the DOT’s final report to Congress violated the Administrative Procedures Act because its conclusion—that Mexico-domiciled carriers operate at a level of safety equal to or greater than U.S. and Canadian carriers—is arbitrary and capricious in light of the admitted lack of significant data from a pilot program Congress required DOT to conduct.

The DOT announced in January that it would move forward with opening the border to trucks domiciled in Mexico later this year despite the DOT Inspector General (IG) issuing a report which acknowledged that it had been unable to develop statistically significant data in the pilot program. Due to the lack of significant data, the IG could not have determined with any degree of confidence the future safety performance of Mexico-domiciled carriers.

“It is disappointing that the DOT has chosen to ignore the findings of the Inspector General and is moving forward with opening the border to Mexican trucks. The Teamsters Union will continue to fight for highway safety; the safety of our roads cannot be compromised based on this failed program,” said Jim Hoffa, Teamsters General President.

In a letter to the United States Trade Representative (USTR) Michael Froman last week, Hoffa called on the administration to protect highway safety and reopen negotiations over Mexican cross-border trucking as part of the ongoing Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks.

Only 13 carriers participated in the Mexico Cross-Border Trucking Pilot Program, which expired in October. The pilot program failed to test the safety of long-haul operations originating in Mexico and traveling throughout the United States beyond the commercial zones where Mexican trucks are already permitted to travel. Most of the data was obtained from within those commercial zones.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

YRC Freight Opens Dedicated Hotline for Customers With Shipments Delayed at West Coast Ports

YRC Freight announces a new dedicated 800 number specifically for businesses with freight delayed at West Coast ports. The hotline number: (800) 325-8747, is manned around-the-clock by YRC Freight's expedited shipping experts. It is designed to give callers shipping solutions that will help them avoid additional delays and have their merchandise on store shelves in time for the spring retail season.

Recent labor standoffs resulted in congestion and backlogs at U.S. West Coast ports. Delays are causing serious challenges for supply chain managers across North America. Even though a tentative agreement on a new 5-year contract between the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) and International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) has been reached, shipment delays will continue.

Keith Prather, Managing Director of Armada Corporate Intelligence, states, "PMA officials continue to reiterate that it will take 8-12 weeks to clear the backlog of shipments sitting off the West Coast. Many shippers will need to expedite loads once they hit the port to make it in time for the spring retail season."

YRC Freight established the hotline in an effort to help customers, both current and new, stock retail shelves without losing any more time. "Our company has built its reputation on transporting freight safely, quickly and on-time. We understand the time-sensitive nature of shipping, and we have a broad portfolio of services like Time-Critical™ focused on expedited delivery. In order to get the supply chain moving again and help avoid additional revenue loss, we are ready with time and cost effective shipping options," explains Howard Moshier, Senior VP of Operations for YRC Freight.

Customers calling the hotline with urgent delivery needs can take advantage of air, dedicated equipment, and expedited ground services to expedite freight from port to points across North America. Delivery windows range from by noon and by 5 p.m. to a 1 to a 24-hour window. Time-Critical™ Weekend Advantage offers Friday pick up and Monday delivery between most U.S. and Canada points for a cost-effective alternative to air freight service.

Monday, March 09, 2015

Hall Joins Thousands Of Teamsters At West Virginia Rally For Workers

Teamsters General Secretary-Treasurer Ken Hall Rallies with Workers At Capitol, Vows To Fight State Lawmakers’ Anti-Worker Agenda

Teamsters General Secretary-Treasurer Ken Hall delivered a rousing speech to thousands of rallying protesters in his home state of West Virginia on  Saturday, urging workers to continue their fight against the legislature’s anti-worker agenda currently being pushed by state lawmakers.

More than 1,000 Teamsters came out to show their support and stand shoulder-to-shoulder in solidarity with their brothers and sisters in the labor movement.

“The working people of West Virginia deserve better from our politicians, and we won’t sit back as out-of-state interests try to strip us of our bargaining rights, drive down our wages and  weaken job protections,” Hall said to the packed crowd. “All workers deserve dignity and respect, and that’s why Teamsters across the country will be standing with West Virginians to stop this horrible assault on workers.”

Hall was joined by other national labor leaders including: National AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, United Mine Workers President Cecil Roberts, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten and National Education Association President Lily Eskelsen Garcia.

Union leaders thanked West Virginia workers for their efforts to form a united voice in opposition to lawmakers seeking to establish right to work legislation, roll back coal mine safety  protections, lower the prevailing wage and diminish public education.

“I’ve always believed what’s bad for one union is bad for all unions. Fortunately, workers were ready for this fight months in advance throughout the legislative session,” said Gary Legg, a member of South Charleston, W.Va.-based Teamsters Local 175, noting that Teamsters joined with miners, teachers and building trades members throughout the session as part of a shared fight to stop this harmful legislation.

“We have fought too hard and too long in the struggle for workers’ rights to become a right to work state. It's time for delegates to realize that West Virginians don't support this agenda. The assault on workers this session is bad for working-class families and it's bad for our economy. It's an assault on the entire state,” Hall said.

Hoffa: Right-To-Work In Wisconsin Is Another Step Down The Wrong Road For Working Families

Gov. Scott Walker Signs Destructive Bill into Law, Furthers Right-Wing, Special Interest Agenda

The following is the official statement from Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa on Wisconsin becoming a right-to-work state.

“Today, Gov. Scott Walker ignored the will of Wisconsin’s working families, signing a right-to-work bill into law that was fast tracked through the state legislature.

“As we all know, right-to-work laws are designed to do one thing and one thing only – attack working families and the middle class by weakening their strongest advocate, labor unions. Their goal is to weaken bargaining rights, drive down wages and benefits and roll back rights on the job.

“Wisconsin is now the 25th state to adopt right-to-work laws as politicians like Walker push forward the agenda of their right-wing task masters. The Koch brothers, through Americans for Prosperity and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) have poured millions of dollars into states across the country to push right-to-work legislation.

“These corporate interests will not stop in Wisconsin – they continue to attack working families, moving from state to state. We must remain strong and fight them wherever right-to-work legislation is introduced.

“I make this pledge to you – the Teamsters Union will not stand on the sidelines – we will fight right-to-work wherever it is introduced and protect working families.”

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Hoffa to USTR and Administration: Reopen Mexican Cross-Border Trucking Issue

Teamsters General President Asks Administration to Put Cross-Border on the Table During TPP Talks; Protect Highway Safety

In a letter to United States Trade Representative (USTR) Michael Froman Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa called on him and the administration to protect highway safety and reopen negotiations over Mexican cross-border trucking as part of the ongoing Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) announced in January that it would move forward with opening the border to trucks domiciled in Mexico later this year despite the DOT Inspector General issuing a statistically inconclusive report on the pilot program. Due to the lack of data, the IG could not determine with any degree of confidence the future safety performance of Mexico-domiciled carriers.

“Given the paramount importance of safe highways throughout the continental United States, and given the illegitimacy of the pilot program data and the consequent failure of the DOT to meet its statutory obligations and given the excessive and unfair Mexican retaliation in the past, it is clear the Administration has no better option than to reopen negotiations with the Mexican government in the context of the TPP talks,” Hoffa stated in the Feb. 24 letter.

Hoffa was appointed by the president to two trade advisory committees – the Labor Advisory Committee (LAC) and the Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and Negotiations (ACTPN).

“As the General President of America’s largest transportation union, I want to offer all the resources of the Teamsters Union to help you make the case to the Mexican government and to the American people that highway safety trumps foreign commercial and investment interests, as a matter of U.S. trade policy,” Hoffa wrote.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Fleets frustrated over impact of new rules and regulations on operating costs

US and Canadian trucking companies have much in common, including their growing frustration over government interference in their businesses, with seemingly little thought given to the full implications of their decisions.

That was evidenced during a panel discussion on The Impact of Rules and Legislations on Fleet Operating Costs, hosted by Performance Innovation Transport at its second annual conference. Providing a fleet perspective on the subject were Mike Kelley, vice-president, YRC Freight and Mark Irwin, director of maintenance, eastern region, Bison Transport. Among their shared frustrations was the idea that government does not hesitate to foist costly regulations on the industry, while it continues to prohibit the use of safe and proven systems such as larger pup trailers in the US and 6×2 axle configurations in Canada.

YRC’s Kelley said the LTL trucking industry in the US would like to move from 28-ft. pup trailers to 33-footers, which would provide an 18% increase in capacity.

“The last time we’ve had any significant productivity increase was in 1982,” he complained. “We can save four billion tonnes of CO2 annually. But this will be anything but an engineering decision, it’s going to be a political decision and we’re in for a dogfight.”

Closer to home, Irwin would like to see the latest generation 6×2 axles allowed in Canada, pointing to weight savings of several hundred pounds.

“We need to get into this,” Irwin said. “This is something where we’re seeing significant fuel savings. It has been tested by PIT and we have confidence in PIT and what they do. The restrictions or the limitations of operating in Ontario as a result of this actually impacts our ability to perform business in Ontario.”

Full Story........

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

A Change in the Requisition Mindset

After years of not bothering to ask for funds for anything but the basics, YRC managers had to start thinking differently

This is the third in a series of six articles about the volatile financial misfortunes and turnaround of trucking company YRC Worldwide.

Mark Boehmer was in job-hunting mode. He’d been treasurer for 10 years at Sealy, the mattress company, when he began looking for a new opportunity. Before long, some offers materialized. One was for a fairly traditional treasurer position. Another was for a company where he’d wear a lot more hats, even though it was three times Sealy’s size. The kicker was that the second company, trucker YRC Worldwide, had been in a heap of financial trouble for years.

He was leaning toward the first offer when his wife voiced an opinion. “You should take this other job,” she said. “The passion in your voice is so much greater when you’re talking about it.” She was right, Boehmer decided, and he joined YRC as treasurer in mid-2013.

If Boehmer was looking for excitement, he surely found it. He came to YRC when it was negotiating with its lenders to restructure its credit agreements, so as to take the edge off of its then-ruinous interest costs. “You can restructure this debt,” the bankers told YRC, “if you get an extension of your union contract.” That was a reference to its deal with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, 26,000 of whose members worked for YRC. The contract still had more than a year to run, but the company had no time to waste, as $395 million in principal repayments were due in 2014, including $69 million in February, and YRC didn’t have the cash to cover them.

Full Story.......

YRC Rolls Out New Tractors, Safety Programs For 2015

YRC Worldwide Inc. is revamping its vehicle fleet in 2015 by adding new tractors and trailers as well as safety features to its current fleet.

The Overland Park-based less-than-truckload carrier plans to roll out 600 new tractors and more than 2,000 new trailers for YRC Freight and YRC's regional carriers, Holland, New Penn and Reddaway. In addition, it's adding in-cab safety features to help prevent accidents.

The Kansas City Business Journal was granted an exclusive opportunity to see one of the new tractors — a 2015 Volvo Trucks North America VNM42T — and see its safety features in action.

Mitch Lilly, YRC's senior vice president of employee and labor relations, said YRC Freight placed an order for 200 new Volvo trucks with Kansas City-based truck dealership Westfall GMC Truck Inc. late last year. Lilly said that 50 trucks have been delivered, with the rest arriving throughout 2015.

Those tractors will be distributed throughout the YRC Freight network as they arrive.

Full Story........

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Share the Road Drivers Show Love for Truckers for Valentine’s Day

IMTA, Truckers Against Trafficking Join Healthy Snack Event at Love’s Travel Stop

Share the Road professional drivers, along with representatives of the Indiana Motor Truck Association and Truckers Against Trafficking handed out healthy snacks as part of a Valentine’s Day themed “We Love Truckers” event in Belleville, Ind.

“As important as it is to take care on the roads,” said Share the Road’s Don Conklin, a driver with YRC Freight, “it is equally important to take care of yourself. While that can be hard on the road, mixing in a nutritious snack can go a long way to keeping you healthy and fit.”

During the event, which took place at the Love’s Travel Stop in Belleville, Ind., off Exit 59 of Interstate 70, Share the Road drivers, along with IMTA staff and representatives of Truckers Against Trafficking distributed healthy snacks as well as mugs, hats, pens and pins, and because it was near the holiday – Hershey’s Kisses.

“Our industry is blessed with thousands of hard-working, dedicated professionals who drive our trucks and move our freight,” said Gary Langston, president of the Indiana Motor Truck Association. “If events like this one can show, even in just a small way, how much we appreciate what they do for our industry and our country, then we’re proud to be a part of them.”

“I’m incredibly proud to be a professional truck driver,” said Share the Road’s Bill Minor, a driver for Con-way Freight, “but I’m more proud to do things that let my fellow drivers know how much they are valued.”

ABF Freight Training Program Rises to Sixth Spot on Training Top 125

Training magazine annually ranks employer-sponsored training and development programs

ABF Freight, on the list for the sixth consecutive year, ranked 11th in 2014

Appearing on the list for the sixth consecutive year, ABF Freight, placed sixth among Training magazine’s Training Top 125, which ranks companies’ excellence in employer-sponsored training and development programs.

“ABF Freight strives to be a leader in recruiting, training and equipping transportation professionals,” said ABF Freight President Tim Thorne. “Once trained, our employees are empowered to serve the specific needs of a diverse group of customers who know that no matter the challenge, we’ll find a way. It is always gratifying to have our efforts recognized by a prestigious publication like Training magazine.”

Now in its 15th year, the Training Top 125 ranking is based on numerous benchmarking statistics such as total training budget; percentage of payroll; number of training hours per employee; goals, evaluation, measurement and workplace surveys; hours of training per employee annually; and detailed formal programs.

“Congratulations to the 2015 Training Top 125 winners. These organizations proved their commitment to effective training and employee development tied to corporate strategic goals,” said Lorri Freifeld, editor-in-chief of Training magazine. “The competition was impressive this year as 27 newcomers earned a place on the list. In addition to recognizing the winners in Atlanta, we will be detailing their achievements and best practices in the January/February 2015 issue of Training magazine.”

Training magazine recognized the 2015 Training Top 125 winners with crystal awards and revealed their rankings at an awards gala during the Training 2015 Conference & Expo February 9-11 in Atlanta. ABF Freight ranked 11th in 2014.

The Refinancing from Hell

YRC's controller is glad that a 2014 refinancing didn't fall under 'troubled debt restructuring,' like a 2011 recapitalization did

This is the second in a series of six articles about the volatile financial misfortunes and turnaround of trucking company YRC Worldwide.

For Stephanie Fisher, the controller at YRC Worldwide, the company’s debt restructuring in 2014 was a walk in the park compared with two others undertaken a few years earlier.

A series of transactions in July of 2011 that included what’s known as a troubled debt restructuring (TDR) was especially mind-numbing. In a TDR, lenders grant concessions to debtor organizations with financial difficulties in a bid to avoid losing principal upon the debtor’s failure. In YRC’s case, lenders forgave $305 million of the company’s debt and rewrote its remaining debt at more favorable terms, in exchange for stock and notes convertible into stock.

Some of the particulars: the lenders received what became 4.6 million shares of common stock on a post-split basis, upon a 1-for-300 reverse stock split on Dec. 2 of that year. YRC’s shares, which had been trading for pennies and would soon have been delisted by Nasdaq, closed at $12.78 that day. The lenders also got $140 million of Series A notes convertible into common stock at the price of $34.02 per share and $100 million of Series B notes convertible at $18.54 per share.

Full article.......

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Judge Approves Agreement Ending Government Oversight Of Teamsters Union

Chief Judge Loretta Preska of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York approved an agreement that ends more than 25 years of government oversight of the Teamsters Union.

The agreement, reached last month between the United States of America and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, dismisses the lawsuit brought by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, which led to a consent decree that the Teamsters Union has operated under since 1989.

The consent decree is replaced with a final order, in which the government’s continued involvement in the internal affairs of the Teamsters Union will be phased out over a five-year transition period which commences immediately and ends in 2020.

The final order provides for continued direct membership elections of the Teamsters Union’s International officers and for independent investigation and monitoring of internal disciplinary matters involving allegations of corruption.

“This is an historic agreement that returns our great union to our 1.4 million Teamster members,” said James P. Hoffa, Teamsters General President. “Our union is committed to the democratic process, and we can proudly declare that corrupt elements have been driven from the Teamsters and that government oversight can come to an end.”

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

ABF Freight Remains Unmoved in Relocation

The other shoe hasn’t dropped in North Little Rock.

Last summer, ABF Freight, a subsidiary of ArcBest Corp. of Fort Smith, received a $4 million grant from a Memphis-area economic development group to relocate in Memphis. ArcBest, through affiliate Transport Realty Inc., bought two properties totaling 13.55 acres at the proposed relocation site for about $600,000 in 2014.

The company told the Teamsters union that 25-40 jobs, out of 380, would remain in North Little Rock after the move. But as of last week, the union has not been contacted with an official change of operations notification.

Kathy Fieweger, chief marketing officer of ArcBest, said in an email the company did not have any new information on the possible relocation, including whether the delay in moving east was affected by the retirement in October of Roy Slagle, ABF’s longtime CEO. Slagle was replaced by Tim Thorne.

Tim Nichols, the head of Teamsters Local 878, said the uncertainty has led several union members to leave ABF Freight for more security at UPS Freight. Nichols said the Teamsters are trying to be optimistic that “no news is good news.”

YRC Freight Affirms Its Commitment to America's Heroes

In an effort to affirm its pledge to support and hire those individuals who have served in our nation's military, YRC Freight celebrated its commitment with an event at its Charlotte, N.C. terminal on February 9th. The event underscored YRC Freight's pledge to assist and support America's heroes to find their place in professional civilian careers.

Having joined forces with some of the top agencies in the country when it comes to supporting veterans, YRC Freight is proving that it is serious about its mission to provide career opportunities to the military and has partnered with a number of veteran organizations, such as Hiring Our Heroes, Partnership for Youth Success (PAYS), VA-US Department of Veteran Affairs (VEC-Veterans Employment Center), Employment Partnership Office (EPO), Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), Soldier for Life, Marine Executive Association, U.S. Department of Labor Veterans Employment and Training Services (VETS) and 100,000 Jobs Mission.

"YRC Freight has tremendous professional opportunities for our veterans in numerous career areas throughout our 260 locations across the nation," said Darren Hawkins, president of YRC Freight. "We are actively seeking to increase the number of military professionals in our ranks, citing the valuable skills, expertise and life experience they bring to the table. Not only do our nation's heroes have the drive to succeed in the transportation industry, but many of the skills they have acquired in the military transfer smoothly into the trucking industry, providing a powerful and professional workforce," continued Hawkins.

On hand to speak were Military Veteran Eric Eversole, U.S. Chamber of Commerce VP-Hiring Our Heroes Selden J. Fritschner, Alma Adams, Congresswoman representing North Carolina and Alphonso Lewis, YRC Freight Professional Driver and Military Veteran.

"YRC Freight remains committed to hiring the nation's heroes and leveraging their expertise in the transportation industry. The event in Charlotte highlighted a renewed commitment to our nation's military as well as career opportunities in an industry where their skills are highly valued," added Hawkins.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Anatomy of a Turnaround: YRC Worldwide

After seven years of financial turmoil, the big trucking company finally exits survival mode
This is the first in a series of six articles about the volatile financial misfortunes and turnaround of trucking company YRC Worldwide.

If there were a Comeback Player of the Year award for corporate performance, YRC Worldwide might have taken home the trophy for 2014. Not that the $5 billion trucking company is now a superstar — far from it. Rather, such recognition would be testimony to how low YRC had sunk.

After years of finance jockeying that barely kept the company from tripping into bankruptcy, its footing is relatively secure now. A smorgasbord of entwined elements converged in the rescue: a new labor deal, a deft debt restructuring, an equity offering that allowed for debt paydown, an operational downsizing, the improving economy, and plain luck.

The seeds of the turnaround were sown in 2011, when James Welch and Jamie Pierson came on board as chief executive and CFO, respectively, replacing top executives who had come under heavy fire for their management decisions. Indeed, their arrival may have ultimately proved to be the biggest factor of all.

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