YRC Worldwide's CEO Foresees More Layoffs

YRC Worldwide's CEO Foresees More Layoffs

YRC Worldwide cut its payroll 34.5 percent last year and a further 5.5 percent so far in 2010, reducing its workforce from 55,000 to 34,000 employees.

The nation's largest trucking operator eliminated 2,000 jobs since the end of 2009, and the cuts probably aren't over, Chairman and CEO William D. Zollars said.

Speaking at a J.P. Morgan investment analyst conference in New York, Zollars said YRC Worldwide wants to trim another $300 million in annual costs this year.

"A lot of that is head-count related," Zollars said in comments reported by the Kansas City Star, Kansas City Business Journal and Dow Jones Newswire.

It was the first time a YRC official discussed recent layoffs at the company. Unconfirmed reports of union and nonunion layoffs circulated widely in recent weeks.

Zollars staked out another goal at the conference: a pre-tax profit in the second quarter.

He said freight volume increased 6.5 percent in the first week of March compared with the same period in February -- a time when snowstorms blanketed much of the East.

The company, which lost more than $2 billion over the past three years, is striving to bring back customers after completing a debt-for-equity swap that stabilized its finances.

"Our future really now depends on how many customers come back to us and how quickly they come back," he said.

Contact William B. Cassidy at wcassidy@joc.com.