YRC Worldwide's chief operations officer left his union employees no room for doubt about the importance of ratifying wage and pension concessions.
In a letter to the company's Teamster workers, Michael J. Smid warned that a 'no' vote this month could shut down the nation's largest trucking operator.
By The Numbers: Cass Freight Index.
"If the restructuring does not pass, customers (will) lose confidence in our ability to handle their business," Smid said in the Oct. 4 letter.
"The resulting shipment loss will make it impossible for YRC Worldwide to continue in business," he said.
Smid praised the "tremendous personal sacrifice" by union members that helped preserve "tens of thousands of jobs" at YRC Worldwide -- and asked for more.
"The bottom line is that we have no future with a 'no' vote," said Smid, who is also president of the company's long-haul less-than-truckload carrier YRC.
More than 25,000 union jobs are at stake, said Smid.
The trucker's tentative agreement with the Teamsters union would save it as much as $350 million a year by extending wage cuts and reducing pension obligations.
A 15 percent wage cut negotiated last year would be extended for two additional years, through 2015, and pension contributions would be cut 75 percent.
Without pension relief, analysts believe the company could run out of cash by the third quarter of 2011.
Ballots were mailed Oct. 7 and will be counted Oct. 28 and 29.
-- Contact William B. Cassidy at firstname.lastname@example.org.