Recently, the federal court in Kansas rejected the request by Yellow Corp., a less-than-truckload carrier, to prevent their team drivers from participating in the scheduled strike. The judge dismissed the motion for a temporary restraining order and injunction, allowing the union to proceed with the strike, which might start as early as Monday (today). The trigger for the strike was the company’s failure to make welfare donations to the Central States Fund on time last week, leading to workers losing medical insurance on Sunday.

For the past 9 months, both sides have been in a fierce dispute over operational reforms. The less-than-truckload carrier contends that without these changes, the company would struggle to survive, while the union believes that enough concessions have been made in wages, benefits, and work rules in the past.

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“If the company fails to meet its obligations, we will strike,” said Sean O’Brien, the president of the teamsters union, after the ruling. “Yellow’s teamsters are angry and ready to strike. They are tired of being abused and poorly managed.”

In its request for an injunction, Yellow warned that if the court did not support its plea, the company might file for bankruptcy. “If injunctive relief is not granted, Plaintiffs will suffer immediate, irreparable, and substantial harm from Defendants’ illegal work stoppage, including being forced into liquidation bankruptcy,” the company said.

Yellow announced in a news release on Friday evening that it would appeal the court’s decision and continue to pursue its breach of contract lawsuit against the team drivers.

“While the court recognized that a strike could result in the company’s collapse, causing the loss of 30,000 jobs, it issued a warning to the union that, even though they won this battle today, they could still lose this war,” the statement said.

UPS 340,000 Truck Drivers and Employees to Strike

Sean O’Brien, the president of the Teamsters Union, fiercely criticized critics who claimed that the union’s hard-line stance in contract negotiations with UPS would cause an economic recession. He said that the burden of taking the country out of an economic recession falls on UPS, not the truck drivers’ union.

Speaking at a rally in Atlanta, where UPS is headquartered, O’Brien acknowledged the concern that a UPS strike could cause a devastating blow to the economy since the company provides services equivalent to 7% of the US GDP every day. “But that’s UPS’s problem, not ours,” he said.

O’Brien stated that if UPS did not reach a fair contract with the truck drivers, “UPS will put this country into a recession.”

O’Brien also acknowledged that the two sides were very close to reaching an agreement. “We’re on the five-yard line now,” he said, adding, “We have one more round of bargaining.”

The negotiations stalled on July 5, and after a 20-day hiatus, talks will resume in Washington on Tuesday. According to the teamsters union, the strike threat comes as UPS has failed to meet their demands for increased wages and benefits for part-time workers.

The current five-year contract expires on July 31, and if the negotiating committee fails to reach a tentative agreement by that date, the truck drivers’ union has threatened to strike on August 1. It is expected to take about three weeks for the 340,000 rank-and-file members to review and approve or reject the tentative agreement.

As the strike wave continues to sweep across the US, the trucking industry, which is a vital part of the country’s economic system, has been hit hard. The truck drivers’ demands for better working conditions, fair wages, and benefits have reached a boiling point, and the industry must find a way to address these concerns to avoid further disruptions.

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