(WASHINGTON) – The Central States Health and Welfare Fund agreed Sunday to extend health care benefits for workers at Yellow Corp. operating companies YRC Freight and Holland, under intense pressure from Teamsters General President Sean M. O’Brien and General Secretary-Treasurer Fred Zuckerman.
The extension of health care benefits for Teamsters and their families averts a strike at the freight companies, which could have begun on Monday after Yellow failed to make contractually obligated benefit payments of $50 million to Central States on July 15. The agreement by Central States at the urging of the Teamsters gives Yellow 30 days to pay its bills with the understanding the company will do so within the next two weeks.
The intense discussions between Teamsters leadership and Central States successfully convinced fund trustees to reverse their previous decision that health care benefits would end on July 23 if Yellow remained delinquent. O’Brien subsequently ordered the Teamsters National Freight Industry Negotiating Committee to meet in-person with Yellow representatives on Sunday evening. Meetings will take place in Washington, D.C., to review the state of the company and the current contract.
As the Teamsters and Yellow sit down, the reversal by Central States will keep health care benefits paid and hardworking Teamsters on the job for the time being.
“Our members at YRC Freight and Holland cannot work without health care, and the Teamsters worked tirelessly to ensure an immediate strike at Yellow could be averted,” O’Brien said. “These discussions were not easy, but Central States has made meaningful movement under pressure from the union. We are seeking a real resolution, but let this solution today serve as a profound reminder that our members can only endure so many sacrifices. Teamsters at Yellow simply work too hard and have already given so much.”