Eighty-five Teamsters Local 710 members and pensioners from YRC/Holland Clerical and YRC Maintenance are finally able to celebrate: They won their long and challenging fight to be made whole in what was rightfully owed to them in their pensions.
The Teamsters will be awarded one year and eight months of pension credits from June 2011 to April 2013. This comes after a trying six years of fighting this issue. Holland Clerical member Debbie Minnick spearheaded the fight and was extremely persistent in ensuring all the voices of those affected were heard.
Originally, the sitting 710 Pension Fund trustees at that time voted against these credits being awarded to the participants, and when they did start paying on their behalf, that money was wrongfully applied to what YRC owed to the Fund instead of the participants. The current Union trustees, Thomas Conelias, Bernie Sherlock and Del Schaefer were of the firm position that no one had the right to waive the rights of those participants.
In May 2016, Minnick brought the case to Conelias, now Trustee of Local 710. Conelias worked very closely with her, and, with the help of other clerical members, including JoAnne Lizak at Holland, and the Local 710 Business Agents who represent those members, Chuck DeCola and John “Shaggy” Rule, he gathered information to build their case.
After working with everyone on this, it became painfully clear that the sitting trustees did not act with their fiduciary responsibility. I spent countless hours working with Debbie and going back and forth with attorneys for over a year. We hit roadblock after roadblock, but we would not back down for a second. It’s appalling that the former trustees voted against their benefits like this in the first place.
Local 710 Trustee
Ultimately, the current trustees on both sides came together on this issue. At 9:30 p.m. on Friday night, Conelias finally received word that the members would officially be awarded the credits owed to them – news he was extremely pleased to report at a meeting held for the participants on Saturday morning.
“I’m so thrilled to share this great news with everyone all together like this,” said Conelias. “We won – you won – because solidarity works.”
The members were ecstatic to hear that they would finally get what was rightfully owed to them for so long.
Together, we did it! Perseverance paid off. If you know you are right, stand up and fight!
YRC Clerical member
The Teamsters Local 710 Pension Fund is extremely healthy and currently worth approximately $2.6 billion – an increase of approximately $500 million from the inception of the local’s trusteeship in July 2014.
Teamsters Local 710 is an affiliate of Teamsters Joint Council 25, America’s premier labor union for Chicago, Illinois and Indiana.