As YRC Worldwide has struggled to survive for years under the weight of its Teamster associated costs (particularly the Teamsters’ underfunded pension plan), the company did get some relief from the union several years ago as the Teamsters to agreed to take temporary cuts.
However, the Teamster concessions needed to continue and, with 32,000 jobs at stake, the company had asked (begged, really) the Teamster members to extend a concessionary contract for several more years.
The Teamsters refused. Rather decidedly as a matter of fact, with 12,028 to 7,623 voting against extending any more aid to their struggling employer.
This leaves the Teamsters for a Democratic Union wondering what Plan B is…
The YRCW contract extension has gone down to defeat. What’s next?
The company has hinted that it could be bankruptcy, and we sincerely hope for the sake of 26,000 Teamsters, their families and their communities that they will not take that route.
The International Union should step up to the plate and bargain immediately with YRCW, while simultaneously dealing with the banks to save Teamster jobs without completely gutting the contract. There is no time to lose.
If YRCW does proceed into bankruptcy, it will be ironic that James P. Hoffa (son of legendary Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa) has overseen the the fall of the union in the industry that his father built the union on.
Cross-posted on LaborUnionReport.com