The Teamsters union is telling workers at YRC Worldwide that it will only support concessions sought by the financially troubled trucking company if they come with a “comprehensive restructuring” of the business.
The union told members in a letter Friday that YRC, the country’s largest less-than-truckload operator, recently asked for a new round of cost savings in the company’s ongoing “struggle to stabilize its business.”
Tyson Johnson, chairman of the Teamsters National Freight Industry Negotiating Committee, said the union leadership group is negotiating a “sustainable YRC solution” to submit for ratification by drivers.
Any concessions would follow givebacks the unionized drivers agreed to over the past year as they took wage cuts of up to 15 percent and a suspension of pension contributions, including $155 million in deferred payments and $300 million in permanent savings, to help YRC stave off bankruptcy protection.
Tyson said in his letter to rank-and-file members that the negotiation group is “only willing to submit those cost savings for ratification if certain specific conditions are met that help protect your interests, and if the effort supports a comprehensive restructuring that will give the company the best opportunity to not only survive, but thrive, over the long term.
“Our goal is to help facilitate that restructuring and protect as many Teamster jobs as possible,” he wrote.
YRC has scaled back its operations sharply as the company has lost market share and tried to cope with enormous debt.
The company has made some progress, reporting a $48.3 million operating profit in the second quarter and showing a net loss of $9.5 million that was a strong improvement over last year’s $309 million net loss. But YRC still had nearly $1 billion in long-term debt on its balance sheet on June 30.