The company’s collapse put some 30,000 employees out of work, including 22,000 Teamsters members. That’s an uncomfortable reality for those celebrating what appears to be a comeback for organized labor: the Teamsters’ ratification of a “lucrative” contract for its 340,000 members at UPS; the historic strike among Hollywood writers and actors; and hard-line leadership at the United Auto Workers who are seeking new labor agreements with a 40% pay increase. A 2022 Gallup survey found that U.S. approval of labor unions has hit its highest point since 1965.
For former Yellow employees, the much-ballyhooed comeback of unions, strikes and workers doesn’t quite apply.
It may be satisfying to place all of the blame on Yellow’s shutdown on Teamsters, whose leader appeared to only begin negotiating with the company when it was likely too late to reverse the exodus of customers.
However, trucking insiders and outsiders are increasingly pointing fingers at Yellow management or its hedge fund backers.
No party is unimpeachable for Yellow’s shuttering. And with only two unionized trucking giants left, it’s unclear how the revival of union organizing and hard-line labor leadership will affect America’s $800 billion trucking industry and its 2 million truck drivers.