YRC Looking for Pension Concessions

April 15, 2009 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - A trucking firm is trying to strike a deal with unions to temporarily suspend its pension contributions.

Reuters reports that YRC Worldwide Inc. is in talks with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters to temporarily suspend cash contributions to its defined benefit pension plans, as it works to restructure its network.

The trucking firm, which has experienced a decline in freight volumes because of the recession, said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that it was negotiating with the union, JPMorgan Chase Bank and representatives of the multiemployer defined benefit pension funds to which it contributes.   YRC wants to temporarily stop payments to those funds, which it said cost it between $34 million and $45 million each month.

In exchange, YRC said it wanted to pledge to the pension funds certain unspecified real estate as collateral. Its lenders, including JPMorgan Chase, would have to agree.

According to Reuters YRC has cut jobs and closed facilities. Its unionized workers approved a 10% wage cut in January in return for 15% stake in the company.

In its filing on Monday, YRC said it was “working to finalize discussions with the Teamsters” and others.