The Teamsters National Freight Industry Negotiating Committee and Consolidated Freightways (CF) have reached an understanding for using bargaining unit employees to empty the freight from the CF system.
However, the union said the U.S. Bankruptcy Court must approve the use of Vancouver, WA-based CF's funds so that it can finish delivering an estimated 22,000 shipments stranded at terminals and rail yards across the country.
The union said it expected the agreement to be approved as early as yesterday, but freight at CF terminals such as the one in Milford, CT, sat idle as late as 10 p.m. Thursday.
The union said CF would recall employees in order of seniority on a contractual basis to perform the bargaining unit work of emptying the terminals. The work is temporary and will continue until all freight has been delivered.
However, without insurance and other benefits, not all CF workers are willing to take the temporary work.
"There's no way I'd go back to work," Sam Faulkner, a former 15-year CF truck driver in Vancouver, WA, told The Oregonian. "They've lied to me all this time. I'll believe it when I got the money in my hand."
The court did give CF permission yesterday to issue outstanding paychecks for 15,500 workers nationwide for work done before the trucking company shut down. The company owed about $44 million in back wages.
"We are gratified to have received the Court's approval to satisfy this obligation," said CEO John Brincko, a turnaround specialist who was brought in three months ago to replace Pat Blake. Checks will be mailed as quickly as possible and these payroll checks will be honored," he said.
In a separate court filing released yesterday, CF detailed its top unsecured creditors, led by its former parent, Palo Alto, CA-based CNF Inc. CF owes CNF $13.9 million to cover taxes, administrative services and other claims, according to the filing.
The carrier also reported that it owes Freightliner Co.'s parts division $955,710.
CF spokesman Mike Brown said the company plans to sell its assets, which include 27,000 trailers, 6,600 tractors, 200 straight trucks, and 290 U.S. terminals, to pay off creditors.