Teamsters employees of Allied Holdings, one of the nation’s biggest car-hauling fleets, have approved a company reorganization that requires the appointment of new leadership, a move the union says will save 3,300 union jobs. The plan was approved by 52 percent of Teamsters who cast ballots, which were counted April 16, the union said.
The Teamsters vote is good news for the Yucaipa Cos., the Los Angeles investment firm that filed the reorganization plan. Yucaipa is the biggest creditor of the Decatur, Ga., fleet, which has been in bankruptcy proceedings since 2005.
During the next three years, Teamsters will accept a 15 percent wage reduction, but Allied will pay all health, welfare and pension contributions and any necessary increases to those funds during that time, the union said. The new agreement otherwise contains no changes to work rules or contract language.
If the bankruptcy court approves the plan, it could take effect as early as June 1, according to the Teamsters. That would mean a new Allied board of directors and chief executive officer would have to be appointed.
Yucaipa owns another major car-hauling fleet, Performance Transportation Services. Together, Performance and Allied haul half of all new vehicles to U.S. dealerships, The Wall Street Journal reports.
The Journal reports that Teamsters union President James Hoffa and Yucaipa founder Ron Burkle, a billionaire Democrat donor who made his fortune in the supermarket industry, were brought together by former President Clinton, a close friend of Burkle who serves Yucaipa as a senior adviser.
In the agreement, Allied will pay up to $10,000 annually for an independent auditor assigned by the Teamsters to audit the performance of the business. The union said Hoffa also may appoint a representative to attend Allied board meetings as an observer.
A lawsuit filed in Atlanta by an Allied investor charges collusion by Yucaipa and the Teamsters against Allied shareholders, a charge both parties deny.