May 13, 2013
To All Employees of YRC Freight
Many of you have requested Local Union 992 to comment on the shocking news that YRC Freight recently made a preliminary proposal to acquire Arkansas Best Freight, (ABF).
First and foremost, Bob Fahnestock and I are totally appalled and repulsed about this news. YRC has been rebuffed at this time in its move to acquire ABF. We both learned of this shocking development from General President Hoffa’s statement on Friday, May 10th.
It is our opinion that a company in such poor financial condition should not be trying to purchase another company when its own employees gave us so much to just keep the company afloat. Furthermore, as we all recall, the company did an extensive PR campaign when it was requesting the extraordinary concessions calling for 15 percent wage cuts and an 18-month suspension of the company’s pension contributions.
YRC resumed contributions in 2011, but at levels 75 percent below what it was contributing prior to the 2009 deal. Full pension payments are set to restart in 2015.
The real unanswered question is how is it possible that a company in this type of financial condition have those type financial resources/assets to purchase a large competitor.
President Hoffa called it “unconscionable.” We call it “irresponsible.” YRC should now do the responsible thing and use any cash that they have accumulated and set aside to restore wages and pension contributions for all of its employees to the 2009 levels, with increases as required by the 2008 National Master Freight Agreement.
In our opinion The Teamsters National Negotiating Committee should request an immediate reopening of the amended collective bargaining agreement so that YRC can adopt the wages and benefits additionally negotiated and agreed to and approved in the 2008 National Master Freight Agreement.
Furthermore, YRC Freight should have to give a full accounting of its thought process and decision in trying to acquire ABF.
Please be reminded, it was the International Union, not Local 992, who spearheaded the efforts to save YRC when it came very close to closing its doors. The National Negotiating Committee, not Local 992, negotiated the amendments to the National Master Freight Agreement that were required to keep YRC open so that 40,000 Teamsters could remain employed. We endorsed those efforts because we believed that they would save good Union jobs when our members had no real other employment options. We are pleased that YRC has grown and is hiring new employees. However, let me be crystal clear, YRC should not use the financial sacrifices of its employees to finance corporate expansion without restoring wages and benefits.
We thought that YRC’s management would understand that most of YRC’s problems stem from the merger between Yellow and Roadway. Management should focus on correcting those problems and restoring YRC’s reputation and operational structure instead of attempting another merger.
We will keep you informed of any further developments in connection to this most important matter as they unfold.
Tom W. Krause