Updated November 19, 2013: Talks have begun between YRC and the IBT Freight Division over a five year extension of the contract. Tyson Johnson held a conference call for local union officials today to report on the initial sessions.
Johnson said that no specific demands have been made by either side and that YRC is not asking for additional wage or benefit concessions, but wants more “flexibility.” When questioned on specifics, he said those would come out later and more conference calls would be held. He said the IBT staff and an outside consultant are reviewing YRC’s financial situation. When asked why the two YRC board members appointed by the Hoffa administration have not been helpful regarding YRC plans, he said they had not consulted with the IBT, and avoided further comment on their role.
A week earlier a conference call of officials overwhelmingly approved opening up the contract for the purpose of negotiating the extension as long as there were no new concessions.
YRCW CEO James Welch has made clear he is looking for fast action on extending the present contract until 2019. In today’s call Johnson said he would not let the company dictate a deadline.
The November 12 IBT conference call was just one week after Welch made his case to Teamster locals officials in Dallas on the proposal, and distributed materials. Each local was supposed to meet with YRC members or survey them.
The IBT constitution requires a majority vote of approval by the 26,000 YRCW Teamsters for any contract extension. Members should have a chance to discuss and evaluate any proposal before it is mailed out for a vote. TDU will continue to post information as it become available.
Click here to read Tyson Johnson's memo.