WASHINGTON — Leaders of Teamsters local unions that represent workers at YRC Worldwide Inc. (YRCW) overwhelmingly recommended to approve a tentative agreement and to send it out to the membership for a vote.
The tentative agreement with YRCW, if ratified, will provide a pathway for substantial debt reduction and refinancing initiatives that will permit the company to protect and preserve more than 30,000 American jobs, according to Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa.
The tentative agreement contains significant improvements over the company’s prior rejected proposal, Hoffa said, including the following:
• Employees on seasonal layoff will be eligible for the lump sum bonus
• The proposed wage freeze for current non-CDL employees has been eliminated
• The starting rate for non-CDL new hires has been increased with a $1.00/hr annual progression
• Employees subject to the attendance policy will have a “fresh start”
• The company’s initial proposal to take away a week of vacation from employees with three weeks has been eliminated. Additionally, vacation weeks will be paid at 45 hours/week by the end of the agreement
• The proposal regarding the use of utility employees has been eliminated, and
• Restrictions on the use of PTS have been specified and protections for members at affected terminals have been improved.
The initial company proposal was soundly rejected Jan. 9 by more than 19,000 Teamster members who voted over several weeks.
"The final outcome of this week's discussions is critical to the future of the company. The MOU extension is something our employees can have confidence is the best — and only remaining — path forward," said James Welch, CEO of YRC Worldwide before union leaders recommended approval.
"It is clear the Teamsters understand the urgency of the current situation," Welch said. "Although the company must achieve operational costs savings in the agreement, we also understand that simply re-voting the same proposal is not an option. Over the past few days, many employees have reached out to me expressing concern about the future of the company and about how they could protect their jobs."
“The decision by local union leaders agreeing to endorse and send the tentative agreement to the membership will allow voting to take place at union halls this coming weekend,” said Tyson Johnson, director of the Teamsters National Freight Division and co-Chairman of the Teamsters National Freight Industry Negotiating Committee (TNFINC). “Our members made their voices heard about the company’s initial proposal, and we went back to the company and negotiated significant improvements that will give the members another opportunity to vote on saving this company. Once again, our members will decide this issue for themselves, which reflects the democratic values of our union.”
Hoffa, who is also TNFINC co-chairman, delivered strong remarks explaining why he supports the revised agreement.
“Since the rejection of the company’s proposal, I met with dozens of YRCW members and I have heard from thousands of others,” Hoffa said. “I came away convinced that we owed it to the members to make one last effort to save the company.”
Hoffa said the tentative agreement contains significant improvements over the company’s prior rejected proposal.
“No one wants concessions, but with a ‘yes’ vote at least we live to see another day, and I urge you to do that,” Hoffa said.
Local unions will hold membership votes Saturday, Jan. 25 and Sunday, Jan. 26 at local union halls or other locations. Local unions will make that voting information available to members.
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