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90 freight jobs no longer coming to State Line, Pa.

April 24, 2007|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

TRI-STATE - Yellow Transportation's plan to bring 90 freight jobs to its State Line, Pa., facility - tripling the local work force - has been canceled, according to a union official and a company document.

Under a companywide restructuring plan, Yellow Transportation, which ships a variety of products, planned to move 199 employees from some sites to others and create eight new jobs.

Last year, the plan was tentatively approved for February of this year, subject to further discussion by a committee of company and union officials.

On Thursday, though, Yellow Transportation contacted the International Brotherhood of Teamsters to "advise that the company has decided NOT to implement" the expected changes, according to a company memo, a copy of which was obtained by The Herald-Mail.

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"We suspected it would never happen," said Howard Rhinier, the secretary-treasurer and principal officer of Teamsters Local 771, which represents 546 Yellow Transportation employees in Lancaster County, Pa.

The Lancaster County operation was to lose 126 jobs under the restructuring plan, by far the biggest cut from any single site.

Rhinier said he knew in January that the plan had fallen through, but the company wasn't discussing it publicly.

Yellow Transportation, which is based in Overland Park, Kan., referred questions about the restructuring plan to its New York City public relations firm of Linden Alschuler & Kaplan.

Repeated attempts to get information from Linden Alschuler & Kaplan were unsuccessful.

On Friday, two people at the PR firm promised to call back with information, but didn't. An employee promised again on Monday that someone would provide information, but no one did.

Galen Munroe, a spokesman for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters in Washington, D.C., said he knew little about the plan that was canceled, other than that Yellow Transportation didn't consider it "fiscally viable."

The State Line operation was scheduled to get 65 pickup and delivery jobs and 25 long-haul driving jobs, Tom Krause, secretary-treasurer and principle executive officer of Teamsters Local 992, which represents Tri-State workers, said in December.

The 90 new jobs would be added to about 45 existing jobs, he said at the time.

The increase in jobs at State Line would have been, by a large margin, the largest gain at any Yellow Transportation site, according to a "change of operations" report reviewed at the time by The Herald-Mail.

The influx of workers would have allowed the State Line operation to become a seven-day-a-week "break-bulk" center - a place where pallets of goods are separated to fill customers' orders, Krause said in December.

Krause declined to comment on Monday, referring questions to the Teamsters' communication office.

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