Yellow Freight Employees Disgruntled with Wage Cuts

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Cincinatti, OHRobert is still working for Yellow Freight (YRC), unlike many of his coworkers, who recently lost their jobs without any notice. "My main beef is that Yellow Freight, which has always been in financial trouble, seized all of our funds and used that money to pay off some of their debts," says Robert. "Now they asked us union members to take a 15 percent wage cut, and at the same time, gave themselves bonuses."

"[The] caviar-eating, golf club-swinging, champagne-swilling corporate hacks… pass money around at the corporate level, figuring out what they can cut in the trenches"
Robert continues: "Yellow Freight bought out Roadway Express six years ago, a company that wasn't in trouble, and bought it on credit. I worked at Roadway Express for 24 years as a dock worker, loading trucks. Roadway always used cash to purchase and pay bills—they didn't believe in the credit card mentality. So along comes Yellow Freight and bought us out. From what I understand, a few top corporate guys at Roadway Express did a 'back door' deal. It surprised everyone that they would sell us out.

"The companies merged last March and asked us to take a 10 percent wage cut. The union voted 'yes' because everyone was afraid of losing their jobs, and they didn't want the company to go under. One month later they asked us to shave off another five percent.

"With that five percent cut they froze any contributions going into our pension fund for 18 months. We have made a lot of sacrifices for this company so it will stay afloat, but we don't see the corporate level making any sacrifices.

"YRC opened up the union contract to readjust wages but they will not open up their own corporate personal contracts to stop bonuses while the company is struggling. Instead, they lay off or fire front line supervision and they cut those lower pay supervision jobs: they will not cut or layoff corporate level jobs. They keep paying these guys who do not contribute anything to the productivity of the company. These are your caviar-eating, golf club-swinging, champagne-swilling corporate hacks. All they do is pass money around at the corporate level, figuring out what they can cut in the trenches.

"I read all the YRC financial analyzes online; the analysts say it is just a matter of how and when the company will file bankruptcy. They just freed up about $500 million in liquidity, which in my opinion is like paying their mortgage with a credit card.

"If YRC files for bankruptcy, I believe most of their customers will get spooked. Historically, trucking companies don't make it through a bankruptcy; they will lay off more employees and they will eventually shut the door because they won't have enough customers to keep the lights burning. It's a 24/7 operation and you need lights in the dark.

"I can't reach the corporate office; you can contact their answering machine but you can't talk to anyone. You can tell them you aren't happy with their performance, but do they care? I say it is time to stop buying everything on credit and use cash only and to use the KISS system—'keep it simple, stupid.'"

According to a Reuters report at the beginning of January, YRC Worldwide Inc. completed its debt-for-equity exchange offers. Analysts viewed completion of the debt-for-equity exchange as vital, as it would rid the company of $536.8 million in debt at a time when YRC has taken several measures to stay afloat in a difficult market, including various cost-cutting measures—such as 15 percent wage cuts.

"Our comprehensive plan could not have been accomplished without the collective cooperation and continued support of our many stakeholders, including our lenders, our note holders, and our employees," said Bill Zollars, YRCW Chairman and CEO. YRC has lost more than $2 billion in the last ten quarters.

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Reader Comments

Posted by

I think the important thing here is that Yellow Freight cutting its employees salary while upper management continues to receives bonuses, etc. I am a wife of a yellow freight worker, and I can confirm that my husband has taken two 5% cut in salary. (One in December) and it disturbs me when I read about the bonuses that some of the corporate level employees have received. Why aren't they suffering along with the rest of the employees. It just proves that those in power and control money will do whatever necessary to continue to stay in power and have money.

Posted by

What documentation do you have that Roadway paid cash for everything? Or is this what you heard?

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