The union representing roughly 350 Canadian employees at Tennessee-based Yellow Corp. says the trucking company’s abrupt closure will have little to no impact on Canadian workers’ pensions.
According to a spokesperson at Teamsters Canada, Yellow’s Canadian employees are enrolled in one of four defined benefit pension plans — all of which are fully or almost fully funded — that were negotiated by local unions across the country.
“The company was largely up to date in its monthly contributions to these plans,” says Christopher Monette, Teamsters Canada’s director of public affairs. “There may be some instances where plans are awaiting last month’s contributions, but these payments are still within the accepted timeframes and are not yet classified as late. . . . The plans have sufficient assets to meet all future obligations — or they are nearly there.”
On Monday, Yellow halted operations and laid off all 30,000 workers — of which 22,000 are represented by Teamsters — in Canada and the U.S.
Last week, the union called off a looming strike that was prompted by the company failing to contribute roughly US$50 million to the Chicago-based Central States Health and Welfare and Pension Fund. According to a report by the Associated Press, Yellow had an outstanding debt of roughly US$1.5 billion as of March. Of that total, nearly $730 million is owed to the U.S. federal government to repay a 2020 loan at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.
As of press time, Teamsters didn’t respond to inquiries about the status of U.S. employees’ pensions.