Nov. 8, 2023 | Massachusetts Senators Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren have formally requested the Department of the Treasury to act to preserve union jobs while ensuring taxpayer money is not used to reward Yellow Corp.’s bad behavior.
The senators sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen expressing concern about Teamster jobs put in jeopardy by Yellow’s bankruptcy, noting the company’s financial troubles despite Teamster concessions and a $700 million loan from the federal government.
“Yellow workers from Massachusetts and around the country should not be forced to bear the brunt of Yellow’s mismanagement, and neither should the taxpayers,” Senators Markey and Warren wrote. “We urge the Treasury Department to consider all options at its disposal to protect union jobs at Yellow while ensuring the taxpayers are not on the hook for Yellow’s misdeeds, including delaying the due date of Yellow’s federal loan.”
The letter points out that liquidation may only result in partial payment to unsecured creditors, including Yellow workers. Instead, Yellow could accept a bid by another company to save jobs. A number of companies have offered to extend such bids, which may also require an extension of the maturity date of the federal government’s loan.
Yellow Corp. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Aug. 6, resulting in job losses for 22,000 hardworking Teamsters. With bankruptcy proceedings underway and the threat of liquidation of Yellow’s freight and real estate assets, the Teamsters are fighting for significant corporate bankruptcy reform to ensure workers are first in line for financial restitution. Teamsters at Yellow were the company’s biggest creditors, voluntarily sacrificing more than $5 billion in wage and pension concessions to keep Yellow afloat for the last 20 years.
“Teamsters remain laser-focused on Yellow’s bankruptcy proceedings, and we thank Senator Markey and Senator Warren for standing up for American workers,” said General President Sean M. O’Brien. “Working with lawmakers and the federal government, our union is doing everything in our power to protect workers and union jobs in the industry in the wake of Yellow’s reckless corporate mismanagement.”
Read the letter here.