Here's the news many freight haulers were waiting for regarding Yellow. Teamsters Overwhelmingly Vote 'Yes' to Modify Current Contract with YRC Worldwide PR Newswire Posted: 2009-01-08 18:00:00 OVERLAND PARK, Kan., Jan. 8 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- YRC Worldwide Inc. (Nasdaq: YRCW) announced today that its union employees represented by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters have voted overwhelmingly to modify the current labor agreements for the company's Yellow Transportation, Roadway, Holland and New Penn business units. The modified contract includes a 10 percent reduction in all wages paid, inclusive of scheduled increases, and the suspension of cost of living adjustments (COLA) for the remaining life of the contract. In exchange, Teamsters employees will receive a 15 percent ownership stake in YRC Worldwide, allowing them to share in future company performance. Contributions to the health, welfare and pension plans will continue as previously negotiated. Non-union employees will experience the same or greater percent reduction in total compensation as their union counterparts, including modifications made last year to the non-union pension, retirement and other benefit programs. Non-union employees have also received options to purchase up to a seven percent ownership stake in the company. Senior executives will reduce total compensation, but will not be eligible to participate in the stock option program. Bill Zollars, Chairman, President and CEO of YRC Worldwide, commented, "During a time of economic hardship, we are proud of the understanding and support of our employees. The amended contract will provide our company with significant annual cost reductions that will also have long-term benefits as the economy recovers." The company expects to achieve $220 to $250 million in annual savings from its labor contract modification during the remaining term of the contract in addition to the $75 to $85 million in savings in 2009 from the non-union compensation reductions that were effective January 1, 2009. The company also expects to improve 2009 operating income by a run rate of $200 million from the integration of the Yellow Transportation and Roadway networks that is expected to be complete in early spring 2009. "This agreement is another critical step in our wide-ranging plan to strengthen our balance sheet, while enhancing service for our customers through our national integration of Yellow and Roadway," said Zollars. "With this wage reduction and our other planned cost savings, we are confident that we can sustain our liquidity position and meet our debt obligations, despite the economic downturn, upon completion of negotiations on an amendment to our credit facilities."