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Latest News - August 2012

August 2, 2012
Judge tosses challenge of YRC, Teamsters concessions — again
Source: Kansas City Business Journal
By: David Twidy

A federal judge has, for the second time, denied a legal challenge of union concessions negotiated two years ago between YRC Worldwide Inc. and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.
 
U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright on Wednesday dismissed the lawsuit filed by rival trucker ABF Freight System Inc. in federal court in Arkansas.
 
ABF, which is based in Fort Smith, Ark., originally filed suit in 2010. It claimed that three rounds of concessions negotiated from 2008 to 2010 between certain YRC subsidiaries and the union — and approved by Teamsters members — violated the National Master Freight Agreement (NMFA), a contract covering freight workers throughout the country.
 
Overland Park-based YRC (Nasdaq: YRCW) and the Teamsters argued that ABF removed itself from the national contract in 2008 to negotiate a separate contract and couldn’t file suit.
 
In December 2010, Wright agreed and dismissed the suit. That decision was overturned the following year by the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
 
In her latest ruling, Wright said ABF’s challenge was premature because the carrier has not tried to resolve the dispute through arbitration provided for in the NMFA.
 
ABF claims the arbitration panel process can’t rule on the dispute because it doesn’t allow parties involved in the dispute to hear the case — and its lawsuit targets all parties of the NMFA. The company asked the court to appoint a third-party arbitrator or rule on the dispute itself.
 
Wright said that was not the arbitration procedure agreed to when the Teamsters and YRC signed the NMFA. She suggested that the body governing the NMFA could change its rules regarding the makeup of the arbitration panel, given the unusual circumstances of the case, and consider the dispute.
 
ABF said in a release that it was reviewing the decision and contemplating whether to appeal again to the 8th Circuit or refile its lawsuit.
 
In a separate statement, YRC welcomed the ruling.
 
“YRCW is satisfied with the court’s decision and believes the court ruled correctly and in accordance with the language of the collective bargaining agreement,” the company said.
 
YRC plans to report its second-quarter financial results on Friday morning.

 

 


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