Truck drivers represented by Unifor Local 4209 have been told not to report to work at YRC Freight Canada as the fleet’s U.S.-based parent, Yellow, files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
While Yellow employs about 22,000 unionized workers overall, the Canadian union local represents 58 owner-operators and 70 company linehaul truck drivers.
“The bankruptcy process is an escape hatch for CEOs, but no such relief exists for workers who are cut loose with no notice and often zero support,” Unifor national president Lana Payne said in a press release. “We expect fair treatment and clear communication to the hard-working members of Local 4209 as the company winds down. My thoughts are with the workers and their families who carry the weight of the uncertainty during the bankruptcy process.”
Yellow reportedly carried about US$1.5 billion in outstanding debt, including about $730 million owed to the U.S. federal government because of a 2020 bailout.
Don Lajoie, the union local’s president, referred to news of the bankruptcy as “devastating”.
“While the bankruptcy process focuses on moving numbers around a page, we have to remember the human impact. There are hundreds of families who are left with very little information right now. The local and national union are working to keep them informed as the process continues,” he said.
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