Former employees speak about what lies ahead of laid-off Yellow workers
NEENAH, Wis. (WBAY) - After the trucking company Yellow Corporation laid off thousands of employees across the country, Action 2 news talked to two former local employees about what they had been willing to give up over the years - and the one thing that they and their union refused to concede.
“It’s tough, it’s devastating,” said Todd Schwartz, a former Yellow Corporation Employee.
After 26 years of working with Yellow Corporation in Neenah, Todd Schwartz and his former colleague Dan Getsfried are among the 30,000 employees the trucking company suddenly terminated this month.
“You go from a normal, everyday job for all those years to less than 24 hours notice ‘don’t report for work,” Schwartz explained.
The men say over the past decade, Yellow Corporation pushed for a 15 percent pay cut, reducing pension contributions and vacation time. Then the company received $730 million in federal loans three years ago during the pandemic.
“The wages weren’t our most important thing, we wanted insurance and we wanted our pension taken care of,” Schwartz said.
The Teamsters Union representing Yellow employees was pushing for the company to reopen contract negotiations.
“Die-hard union, die-hard union,” exclaimed Dan Getsfried, also a former Yellow Corporation Employee.
Todd and Dan said they’ve both seen a lot of criticism of the Union across the country. They’ve seen people blaming the Union for what’s happened here at Yellow, being shut out of their workplace - but for them, their loyalty completely stands behind the Teamsters.
“Support the Teamstead right to the end,” Dan Getsfried said.
Getsfried added that after experiencing pay cuts, giving up a week of vacation, and losing a large chunk of pension contributions - there was one thing employees were not willing to give up. “The biggest devastation, I believe, is the insurance,” he noted.
“Currently, we have employees dealing with cancer, we have employees having babies, you know, people with surgeries, long-term illness. Everybody understands what the medical costs are,” Todd Schwartz said.
Todd and Dan were prepared to go to strike, but before that happened, they learned the business was closing.
Now they’re left to figure out what’s next.
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