Teamsters, Workers’ Families Should Take Priority as Bankruptcy Begins
WASHINGTON, Aug. 7, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Despite extracting billions of dollars from workers and the government, Yellow Corp. abandoned its entire workforce one more time late Sunday as they embarrassingly filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The Teamsters denounce any attempt by the company to evade its financial obligations through legal maneuvers.
“Yellow may try to use the courts to eradicate its financial responsibilities, but they can’t escape the truth. Teamster families sacrificed billions of dollars in wages, benefits, and retirement security to rescue Yellow. The company blew through a $700 million government bailout. But Yellow’s dysfunctional, greedy C-suite failed to take responsibility for squandering all that cash. They still don’t,” said Teamsters General President Sean M. O’Brien. “They shamelessly pin their corporate incompetence on working people. This is what’s wrong with Big Business. This is a reminder of why workers’ ability to organize and collectively bargain is so crucial to protecting and creating good jobs in America.”
Yellow has been plagued with financial trouble for nearly two decades as dedicated working families have given up substantial earnings and pension securities to salvage Yellow from its corporate struggles. In 2011, Teamsters agreed to a massive pay cut to keep YRC Freight in business. The concessions from workers continued in the years that followed. In 2020, the government gave the company a $700 million pandemic relief loan in exchange for a 30 percent stake.
“Yellow management and the financiers who pull the strings continue to blame union contracts for their demise. The fact is, Teamster-represented companies like ABF and TForce Freight are not only able to fairly compensate workers, they are also wildly profitable,” O’Brien said. “The Teamsters successfully and continuously negotiates strong contracts to preserve the integrity of our members’ work and ensure they are justly compensated. More than 15,000 members overwhelmingly ratified powerful new national agreements at both ABF and TForce in just the past two months.”
“When mismanaged companies like Yellow cry about needing more flexibility to modernize, they’re telling you they want to take advantage of workers. They want to pay workers less, kill their pensions, and stop paying their benefits. They want to force workers to perform labor they weren’t hired to do. All things Yellow is outright guilty of,” said Teamsters General Secretary-Treasurer Fred Zuckerman. “Yellow benefitted from historically low labor costs compared to other freight leaders, yet they still managed to drive the company into the ground. Workers do not own that death. Yellow management must.”
The Teamsters’ legal and economic teams are closely following Yellow’s moves throughout bankruptcy proceedings.
“Our members’ loss of work at Yellow was no fault of their own. They should be the first in line for real relief as bankruptcy moves forward,” said John A. Murphy, Teamsters National Freight Director. “While Yellow’s closure represents one last shameful act by a greedy employer, the Teamsters will never desert our brothers and sisters. We will do everything we can to prioritize our members at Yellow and their families during this bankruptcy.”
Founded in 1903, the Teamsters Union represents 1.2 million hardworking people in the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico. Visit Teamster.org to learn more and follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and on Facebook at Facebook.com/teamsters.
Daniel Moskowitz, (770) 262-4971
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SOURCE International Brotherhood of Teamsters