Yellow loses attempt to stop strike
Company says in plea to judge it will be forced to file for bankruptcy
The U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas ruled Friday against less-than-truckload carrier Yellow Corp.’s request for an injunction, which would have kept its Teamsters employees from engaging in a work stoppage.
In her decision, Senior Judge Julie Robinson denied a motion for a temporary restraining order and injunction.
The decision allows the union to carry through with a planned strike, which could begin as soon as Monday. The final straw prompting the strike was Yellow’s missed benefits contribution payment to Central States Funds last week, which will leave workers without health insurance on Sunday.
The two parties have been embroiled in a bitter dispute over operational changes for the last nine months. The carrier has maintained that without the changes it wouldn’t survive while the union took the stance that it had given enough in the past in the form of wages, benefits and work rules concessions.
“The company has two more days to fulfill its obligations or we will strike,” Teamsters General President Sean O’Brien said following the decision. “Teamsters at Yellow are furious and ready to act. They are done with the mistreatment and mismanagement.”
In its filing seeking an injunction, Yellow said it would likely file for bankruptcy if the court didn’t rule in its favor.
“Absent injunctive relief, Plaintiffs will suffer immediate, substantial, and irreparable harm from Defendants’ unlawful work stoppage, including being forced into a Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy proceeding.”
In a news release late Friday, Yellow said it would appeal the court’s decision and continue to pursue its breach of contract lawsuit against the Teamsters.
“The court, recognizing a strike would likely kill the company, resulting in the loss of 30,000 jobs, cautioned the Union — that while it won today’s battle, it could very well lose the war,” the statement said.
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