Yellow Corporation truckers call for industry ‘modernization,’ wage increases from Teamsters
Amid a busy travel and shipping summer season, one trucking company CEO claims he’s fighting to keep his business alive.
"When you look at a company that's doing around 13 million shipments a year today, our employees are out there picking up and delivering over 90,000 shipments, that's important," Yellow Corporation CEO Darren Hawkins said on "Mornings with Maria" Monday.
"The presence that Yellow has in the marketplace is extremely important, and there's no reason for us not to be there. Our customers want us here, our employees want us here," he continued. "And bottom line, we're servicing the American economy on a daily basis, trucking truly moves America."
Last week, the Yellow Corporation filed a more than $137 million lawsuit against the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, one of the largest trucking unions in the U.S. and Canada.
U.P.S. REACHES TENTATIVE DEAL TO DODGE TEAMSTERS STRIKE
The complaint alleged that the Teamsters breached their contract with Yellow by blocking the company’s efforts to restructure and modernize its business, according to a press release. Without the proper changes, Hawkins claimed Yellow’s operations would fail.
"Our request is to get to negotiations immediately," the CEO said while calling for the Teamsters to approve the modernization plans and competitive wage raises.
"Even with all the noise around the company, our shipping accounts have held up, and that's crucial for us to work through this period while we're getting to negotiations. I think bottom line, it's a very busy summer for union transportation negotiations," Hawkins added.
"We didn't plan to be part of that, but because of the halt of our modernization efforts, we are part of that now and our employees are just as important as any of the others," he said. "And bottom line, I believe we can get the right things done by getting to the table."
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters told Fox News Digital on Monday that their contract with Yellow "is still in place and in effect," and they are "not currently in bargaining."
In a press release last week, the Teamsters Union denied the Yellow Corporations allegations, calling the lawsuit "frivolous."
"Yellow Corp.’s claims of breach of contract by the Teamsters are unfounded and without merit," said Teamsters General President Sean M. O’Brien. "After decades of gross mismanagement, Yellow blew through a $700 million bailout from the federal government, and now it wants workers to foot the bill. For a company that loves to cry poor, Yellow’s executives seem to have no problem paying a team of high-priced lawyers to wage a public relations battle—all in a failed attempt to mask their incompetence."
Out of Yellow’s 30,000 employees, 22,000 belong to the Teamsters Union. With negotiations still up in the air, Hawkins penned a letter to the Biden administration for support.
"The Biden administration has been responsive to help us work through this. And I'll make it clear that we're not asking for anything except the ability to negotiate," the CEO explained. "The Biden administration believes in collective bargaining."
Yellow’s recipe for business success still misses one key ingredient, the exec pointed out as a ratified union contract.
"There's a solution here. There's a path forward," Hawkins said. "And by the way, the U.S. Treasury has 30% of the company. So that equity is also important to every American taxpayer. Loans are fully collateralized. We have the opportunity to move forward in a very productive way."
This article originally appeared on Fox Business.