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Teamster drivers and dockworkers for leading LTL carriers include ABF Freight System and the operating units of YRC Worldwide to include Roadway Express, YellowFreight, and USF Dugan. USF Holland and USF Reddaway.
The national freight agreement covers about 50,000 of YRC's hourly employees represented by the Teamsters union and another 20,000 ABF employees. About 70,000 union members in all are covered by the contract. The union said 67 percent of rank-and-filers who voted approved the contract, which provides wage and benefits gains but also gives YRC with more flexibility in work rules and job classifications.
"This contract provides a more secure future for the 70,000 Teamsters covered by the NMFA (National Master Freight Agreement) and their families," Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa said in a statement.
YRC chairman and chief executive Bill Zollars said the Overland Park-based trucking giant was pleased the contract was settled well ahead of expiration of the current pact.
"This five-year agreement gives us a solid foundation to build on," he said in a statement.
YRC has struggled in the past year as the economy has slowed. The company last week announced a restructuring of its regional operations that resulted in the elimination of 1,100 jobs, mostly hourly workers.
The new contract with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters will last five-years and will become effective on April 1, 2008.
For YRC, the agreement calls for a new type of Teamster--"utility drivers," a new class of workers who would be allowed to perform both city and over-the-road driving. These drivers would be paid a 4 percent premium, or about $1 an hour, higher than traditional Teamsters pay. The YRC companies need to be more flexible to compete with non-union carriers such as Con-way, NEMF, Estes Express, FedEx Freight and the scores of other top-flight, non-Teamster carriers.
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