(Washington, D.C.) – Leaders today from Teamster local unions that represent members at YRC Worldwide, Inc. (YRCW) approved providing their members the ability to vote on the company’s proposed changes to the current Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
The company is proposing to extend and modify the current restructuring agreement from March 31, 2015, when it is scheduled to expire, until March 31, 2019. YRCW has requested the extension and certain contract modifications to facilitate a refinancing of $1.4 billion of debt that comes due beginning in early 2014 as well as the conversion of at least an additional $200 million of debt to equity. The company and its lenders are saying it must reach a labor agreement with the Teamsters that both extends the MOU and increases the company’s “competitiveness” by early January 2014 in order to complete the refinancing and debt conversion.
“The Teamsters Union was founded on democratic principles and we firmly believe that our members should have the right to decide how to respond to the company’s proposal,” said Tyson Johnson, Director of the Teamsters National Freight Division and Co-Chairman of the Teamsters National Freight Industry Negotiating Committee (TNFINC). “After much debate, local union officers voted to allow the company’s proposal to go before members so that they can cast a secret-ballot vote.”
Johnson said, “The union leadership believes that all our members who would be affected by the company proposal or by the consequences the company says will occur if it is not approved should have the right to decide their own destiny. Given the enormous sacrifices that employees have already made to keep this company in business, TNFINC is not making a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ recommendation. Nevertheless, we are committed that it is our members’ right, not ours, to decide what is best for our members and their families.”
Ballots are tentatively scheduled to be mailed on or about December 10 and will be counted on or about January 8, 2014.
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “Like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.