Members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters have rejected the terms of a proposed new labor agreement with YRC Worldwide Inc., putting in jeopardy the Overland Park, Kan.-based company’s plans to pay $1.4 billion in debt coming due. Refinancing agreements were contingent on the Teamsters approving the proposed contract. YRC executives will meet with the company’s lenders in New York on Friday to discuss options going forward.
In a Dec. 10 Securities and Exchange Commission filing, the company said a no vote could leave YRC unable to restructure or refinance its looming debt. In addition, the company said in the filing that it faces “significant liquidity challenges in the near term.”
After the vote, Teamsters general president James Hoffa said, “Our members have sacrificed billions of dollars in wages and pension benefits over the past five years, and yet the company has been unable to recover from the disastrous policies of previous management.”
YRC CEO James Welch said, “Despite the vote results, it is business as usual as we have approximately 15,000 trucks on the road today serving 250,000 customers. We will keep our customers, employees and stakeholders advised of our efforts.”