YRC Freight change of operations plan is on hold
February 14, 2012 - LM Editorial
Earlier this month, YRC Freight, the recently re-named largest subsidiary of less-than-truckload (LTL) transportation services provider YRC Worldwide (YRCW) rolled out its plans to designate and streamline the company’s efficiency.
The company’s plan, which focused on making changes in order for the YRC Freight network more fluid, indicated that YRCW wanted to implement them by April. But these proposed changes are contingent on getting Teamsters approval, which is proving to be a sticking point.
According to the Teamsters for a Democratic Union (TDU), the YRC Freight change of operations, which it said “aims to eliminate all utility employees and most end of line jobs,” is on hold, with a planned YRC Freight March 1 hearing on the change of operations now postponed.
A TDU statement cited a YRC spokesperson as saying that only the hearing date has been changed, adding that the company “continue[s] to work on the proposed changes with the IBT Freight Division” and that the hearing may be rescheduled soon. A YRC spokesperson confirmed this with LM.
TDU added that the delay stemmed from YRC management implementing part of the change in operations prematurely, saying that YRC maintains that Columbus Local 413 Teamsters are dragging their feet, and began to reroute freight around Columbus to the Copley (Local 24) terminal. TDU explained that this led to the Teamsters Freight Division cancelling the March 1 hearing and also noted that Local 413 is expected to lose 121 jobs as part of the change of operations plan.
As previously reported by LM, the proposed operations changes were initially reported on a trucking industry message board, which had YRCW documentation regarding this initiative.
Among the various action items YRC proposed are:
-reducing corridor hubs and freight handling;
-eliminating and reducing end of line road domiciles;
-eliminating a distribution center;
-reversing specified road primaries;
-closing a sleep road domicile; and
-adding additional sleeper runs to current sleeper domiciles.
YRC said in an operating statement that the design of the present day freight handling structure currently in place within the YRC network is to handle in excess of 70,000 shipments on a daily basis, with a marketing strategy to provide same day, next day, two day, three day, and four day service.
“The reality of the economic climate is that the company is handling, on average, 48,000 shipments per day with a linehaul network domiciled at approximately 150 locations,” said YRC. “The vast number of these domicile locations and the excessive number of freight re-handle locations must be restructured to continue the strengthening of the company’s financial position to better provide job security to its employees while at the same time growing the business and increasing employment opportunities. This change of operations request is also intended to return YRC to what it does best—to provide world class service to its customers in to 500 mile to 3,500 mile market.”
In a recent interview with LM, YRC Freight President Jeff Rogers said that by focusing on what YRC Freight does really well, which is long haul in the 500 mile to 3,500 mile market, and focusing on two- and three-day transit times and taking handles out and doing more direct loading, will speed up its service and subsequently reduce freight claims and freight handling.
“It is in a way about de-emphasizing or not doing next-day as much, which is not a core focus, and we want to focus on what we do better and put our resources there,” said Rogers.
What’s more, he explained that YRC has short-haul covered well with its New Penn, Holland, and Reddaway regional LTL units, whom he said are the best next-day carriers in their footprints and the best use of company assets.
An industry source said that this action by the Teamsters is not surprising due to the fact that YRC is looking to shift its shorthaul work to regional carriers, with its Reddway division being mostly non-union, save for a few Northwest terminals. The source added that this proposed change of operations plan violates the National Master Freight Agreement, which YRC Freight is committed to and prohibits transferring work to a non-union carrier.
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