Teamsters set vote on givebacks at YRC

YRC Worldwide Inc., the trucking company that is seeking worker concessions to help refinance almost $1 billion of debt, said the Teamsters union agreed to vote on the givebacks next month.

Union balloting will conclude Jan. 8, with results due “soon thereafter,” according to a statement from Overland Park, Kan.-based YRC, which has operations in Summit County. The Teamsters said Dec. 6 that union local chiefs had agreed to the ratification vote.

The company has asked its 26,000 union employees to extend into 2019 a labor accord that had cut wages by 15 percent. The company is seeking more operating flexibility to satisfy creditor demands for refinancing debt. YRC piled up $1.4 billion in borrowings from acquisitions and what Chief Executive Officer James Welch has called “numerous missteps” before he took the job in 2011.

A $69.4 million bond issue matures on Feb. 15. As of Sept. 30, the company had about $170 million of cash. YRC has $952 million of bonds and loans that mature in the next 15 months, according to financial data compiled by Bloomberg.

YRC, formed by the merger of the former Akron-based Roadway with Yellow Freight, has posted annual losses since 2007. YRC has hundreds of employees in the Akron area, primarily Teamsters who drive trucks and work at loading docks in Northeast Ohio.

Last month, the company reported a third-quarter net loss of $44.4 million, compared with net income of $3 million a year earlier.

In a Dec. 3 filing, YRC said it entered into an agreement with MLV & Co. to be the sales agent for an offering of as many as 3 million shares. YRC said it would use the proceeds to pay part of the principal on its bonds that mature in February.

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