Teamsters members who work for YRC Worldwide Inc. approved a new labor agreement, opening a road for the struggling company based in Overland Park, Kan., to possibly refinance its heavy debt load. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters announced Sunday that there were 12,267 votes in favor of and 6,314 against the agreement, which extends wage and benefits concessions.
YRC said it needed the agreement in place to refinance $1.4 billion in debt due this year and in 2015. The Teamsters said the positive vote will provide a pathway forward for substantial debt reduction and will protect YRC’s more than 25,000 Teamster workers.
“This was a very difficult vote for our members, but in the end they did what they believe will give this company the best chance to stay in business and protect their jobs,” James Hoffa, the union’s general president, said in a statement. Teamsters members rejected a previous proposal on Jan. 9.