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Unions in Trucking: YRC and Teamsters Contract Debates

March 27, 2019
unions in trucking

One of the largest trucking companies in the country, YRC Worldwide Inc., and the Teamsters union must make an agreement very soon. Essentially, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents more than 24,000 employees of YRC. This includes everyone from drivers to freight handlers and more.

The current agreement between the YRC companies and Teamsters expires at the end of the month. This puts pressure on the groups to come to a new contract agreement as soon as possible. As of the middle of March, both sides remained divided in terms of long-term wage and benefit packages.

So, what will the decision be? It is still unclear. Some of this information comes from the Teamsters National Freight Industry Negotiating Committee. And, no one knows what might happen if the deadline goes by without the groups coming to an agreement.

YRC was the fifth-largest trucking company in the country in 2017. And, unionized carriers like YRC usually get higher pension and benefit costs than companies without unions. Interestingly, union membership in trucking companies has gone down significantly. This happened ever since interstate trucking was deregulated back in 1980. Only about nine percent of those employed in the for-hire trucking industry have the benefits of union contracts.

But, YRC’s growth last year was behind some of its other competitors that are unionized. But, the company is doing better than it was when they spoke with Teamsters about five years ago. At that time, they were in significant debt. Now, circumstances have changed a bit.

According to Ernie Soehl, co-chairman of the Teamsters National Freight Industry Negotiating Committee: “he union believes the pool of available money needs to expand if we are to conclude these talks on time.”

Time will tell how the negotiations will end and what is in store for employees!  

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