WASHINGTON — The Central States Health and Welfare Fund agreed Sunday, July 23, to extend health care benefits for workers at Yellow Corp. operating companies YRC Freight and Holland, averting a strike of Teamsters workers at the freight companies.
The strike was slated to begin on Monday, July 24, after Yellow failed to make contractually obligated benefit payments of $50 million to Central States on July 15.
According to a Teamsters news release, Teamsters General President Sean M. O’Brien and General Secretary-Treasurer Fred Zuckerman placed “intense pressure” on the companies to come to an agreement.
Central States is giving Yellow 30 days to pay its bills with the understanding the company will do so within the next two weeks, the news release stated.
“The intense discussions between Teamsters leadership and Central States successfully convinced fund trustees to reverse their previous decision that health care benefits would end on July 23 if Yellow remained delinquent,” the news release stated.
O’Brien subsequently ordered the Teamsters National Freight Industry Negotiating Committee to meet in-person with Yellow representatives on Sunday evening. Meetings will take place in Washington, D.C., to review the state of the company and the current contract.
“Our members at YRC Freight and Holland cannot work without health care, and the Teamsters worked tirelessly to ensure an immediate strike at Yellow could be averted,” O’Brien said. “These discussions were not easy, but Central States has made meaningful movement under pressure from the union. We are seeking a real resolution, but let this solution today serve as a profound reminder that our members can only endure so many sacrifices. Teamsters at Yellow simply work too hard and have already given so much.”
On Friday, July 21, U.S. District Court Judge Julie Robinson of Kansas ruled against Yellow Corp.’s request for an injunction to stop a Teamsters strike.
Yellow Corporation executives said that a strike by Teamsters would have violated the parties’ collective bargaining agreement.
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