YRC The Cancer Of The Trucking Industry There comes a point that you have to stop worrying that you will be persecuted for speaking the truth, and that point has arrived. For way to long those that not only work for this corporation, but also those who are in the industry in one form or another understand that the YRC Corporation has evolved into a cancer in the trucking industry. Today the question really is should it be allowed to be euthanized, or should it mercifully be allowed to die on its own? The cancer that started out as a simple tumor has been allowed to grow into stage four proportions. In the quest to dominate the LTL marketplace Yellow Trucking embarked upon the strategy of acquiring competing companies and running them into the ground. Long before they bought Roadway and USF they acquired and destroyed perfectly good companies. They overextended themselves when they took out loans to buy both Roadway and then USF. In the ensuing years all they have done is mismanage and dismantle companies that once were the leaders in the industry. While competing companies have bounced back for the most part from the downturn in the economy, YRC and its sister companies continue to demand give backs and sacrifices from its employees. Even when a small profit is shown from time to time and large corporate payouts to executive officers, the rank and file employees suffer with stagnant wages and retirement contributions. The sacrifices that the rank and file employees have gone in vane when you examine it with open and honest eyes. Since January, 2009 each hourly employee who has taken a 15% wage cut has given back to the company roughly $93,500 out of their pocket to keep this disease afloat. With an average of $11,500 dollars on the low side in wage give backs yearly one would assume that the sacrifice was being put to good use, but sadly we see that it has not. The wages alone were not the only sacrifice or overall monetary giveback. With the pension freeze that occurred and the vacation giveback the company reaped in millions of dollars annually in reductions of overhead costs. Monetary sacrifices were not the only thing that occurred as a result of the spread of this cancer, The reputation of these once great companies suffered in the ensuing years as well, not only to the customers, but throughout the industry to fellow drivers and workers in the industry. At one time fellow drivers looked to companies like Yellow, Roadway, and Holland as the pinnacle point to strive for in a driving career. While we may never have driven the most pretty trucks or had the newest equipment on the road, we did lead the industry in wages and benefits. We set the bar for other companies in these regards, while today for like sized companies we are at the bottom in regards to wages and retirement. When once it was difficult to be hired on to these companies without years of experience, today the scramble to bring in drivers with little to no experience is in full swing. Without a doubt the industry as a whole is suffering from a lack of drivers, especially experienced qualified drivers. It only highlights the fact that where once Yellow, Roadway, Holland, and the other companies under the YRC umbrella would be able to attract those in this industry even in circumstances such as a driver shortage. The reputation of this corporation has suffered so bad that even experienced non-union drivers whisper and in many cases feel pity towards those at YRC and its sister companies. Drivers hear it on the streets everyday whether they are honest to admit it or not. Like anyone suffering from a disease moral and personal circumstances are tested and in many cases suffer. The overall moral of rank and file employees is an all time low, those who have been around prior to the 2009 MOU understand just what has been given away. They understand or they should understand that they will never get back what they gave up. The 2014 MOU was a clear indication that the eventual death spiral of this company was only a matter of time. Even with all the sacrifices, corporate continued to follow a failing business plan. As a result of over extending and purchasing of companies that they in all rights had no right to purchase they dug a hole that cannot be filled no matter how much the rank and file employees sacrifice. When you go back to all the sacrifices that the rank and file employees have given for this cancer of the trucking industry the unmentioned sacrifice that those who run it do not see or understand the real personal cases. While rank and file employees suffered through loss of homes and marriages, bankruptcies, injuries, and a diminished outlook to retirement corporate officers and management made bank. They took home multi million dollar bonuses and continue to do so even as the company flounders like a fish out of water. It is easy to begrudge the executive officers for taking these huge bonuses when the rank and file as well as the company as a whole suffers, but they are just abiding by the agreement and contracts that they negotiated. What many in the family of YRC fail to do is hold those who allowed the negotiations for what the rank and file received and have to live under. It was originally done in good faith that we would only have to sacrifice till 2015, then it was extended in 2014 with the MOU till 2019 and the question there is for what! Did we see any improvement in the operating of this company? Did we see a flood of new equipment roll into our terminals? Did we see the existing equipment be properly maintained? Do we honestly think that we will return to industry standard in wages and retirement in 2019? I would have to argue no to all the above! The cancer has embedded so deep that once great companies that are now under the umbrella of YRC who attracted the best are now left scrambling to just fill the roster. After years of using outside cartage at the expense of millions of dollars a day, we are now really witnessing just how poorly our sacrifices have been wasted. It is of no wonder that moral throughout the YRC family is at an all time low! The rank and file put up with many things over the last eight years from seeing ,”Do not ship on YRC” on bills at shippers, to personal financial hardships. Without doubt we all had choices, that is not in question one bit. Today, just as when this cancer first started to go terminal we have a choice. Will we choose to continue to put off the inevitable by agreeing in the upcoming contract to keep sacrificing without holding those in charge both Corporate and Union accountable, or will we demand and possibly push for a final treatment one way or another and return to standards becoming of a company of this size? For so many the choice to remain in the family of YRC was due to years of service and years in the Union. The most difficult thing in life sometimes is change and we are not willing to change the page and embark on a new chapter. We examine the pro’s and con’s of doing so in deep regard even allowing small nuggets of pro’s to outweigh all of the negatives. YRC so far has allowed just enough of those small nuggets to dangle in front of us with the insurance offered and the hope that the rank and file will get a portion of what they gave up back in the coming years. If they come out with the proposal to give us a portion back wage wise, but ask for equal contribution to health and welfare then it is obvious that the gig is up for this place and that the cancer has fully overtaken the system to the point of no return. At some point in the coming days we will all have to make the choice. Do we allow it to die on its own, or do we gracefully euthanize it and change the page and start new chapters. One thing is for certain freight will still need to be moved, and with a lack of experienced drivers in the industry there will not be difficult to continue on the career path as a driver. In most cases you just may get the raise you deserve.