Truckers told not to report for work after Yellow Corp. bankruptcy notice: Unifor

Nearly 130 Canadian truck drivers were told not to report for work, Unifor says, after the Teamsters Union said U.S. trucking giant Yellow Corp. was shutting down operations and filing for bankruptcy.

The head of Unifor’s local chapter representing the truckers said 70 employees and 58 owner-operators for subsidiary YRC Freight Canada have been affected.

“The news is devastating for our members,” said Don Lajoie. “There are hundreds of families who are left with very little information right now.”

On Monday, the Teamsters said the union received legal notice confirming Yellow was ceasing operations and planning to file for bankruptcy protection after years of financial struggles.

The apparent shutdown has renewed attention around Yellow’s ongoing negotiations with unionized workers, a US$700-million pandemic-era loan from the government and other bills the Tennessee-based outfit has racked up over time.

Formerly known as YRC Worldwide Inc., Yellow is one of America’s largest less-than-truckload carriers. Its closure would put 30,000 jobs at risk — 22,000 are Teamsters members — and could disrupt shipments to Walmart, Home Depot and hundreds of smaller businesses that rely on its 12,000 trucks.

“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,” said Unifor national president Lana Payne.

“We expect fair treatment and clear communication to the hard-working members of Local 4209 as the company winds down.”

When asked in an email whether the company had filed for bankruptcy, spokeswoman Heather Nauert said simply: “NO.”

She did not rule out the possibility of doing so shortly, as two union releases and multiple media reports suggest.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 1, 2023.

— With files from The Associated Press