Although the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the growth of ecommerce, the systemwide impact of national shutdowns has left the trucking industry in dire straits.
That impact has been felt locally through New Penn, a “less-than-truckload” carrier with Lebanon roots that is now owned by YRC Worldwide. Although administrative jobs were moved out of the county last year, New Penn still has a major presence throughout the region.
YRC has taken extreme measures to stem the losses inflicted by COVID-19 business disruption. Most recently, it suspended insurance benefits indefinitely for YRC workers, as first reported by industry publication Land Line.
YRC confirmed this news in a statement, but noted that the company has worked with the Teamsters Union to ensure continued coverage for the time being.
“In light of the current pandemic led economic crisis, (YRC Worldwide) has taken a range of actions to streamline operations, reduce costs, and amend debt covenants to ensure that we and our employees continue to play a vital role in transporting goods for the U.S. government and many essential businesses,” said company spokesperson Mike Kelley in an email to LebTown.
“In keeping with our efforts to preserve liquidity, we have delayed some fund contributions, and are working closely with the Funds and the Teamsters Union to ensure that YRCW employees have uninterrupted access to healthcare benefits.”
However, as industry publication Freight Waves reports citing a Teamsters memo, the additional eight weeks of insurance coverage being offered will deplete layoff coverage allotments even for those who were not themselves laid off.
According to Freight Waves, the healthcare move is among a few the company has taken to stem its losses. Others include eliminating incentive compensation and raises for its officers, suspending its 401k-match, and institution layoffs and furloughs.
Nasdaq-listed YRCW is currently at $1.59/share, down from $2.58 on January 1.
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