A cross union, with jobs on the line

Mark Solomon at DC Velocity sums up the rejection of YRC Worldwide's proposed five-year labor contract extension not as a referendum on the merits of the proposal, but on the past four years:

Not only did the rank-and-file reject the proposed five-year contract extension, but they did so by a 4,400-vote margin out of about 19,000 ballots counted. With YRC financially vulnerable, with customers anxious over its fate, and with rivals expected to begin circling for profitable business, it's likely many workers knew they could be putting their jobs on the line with their votes.

But for long-suffering YRC union employees, the line had finally been crossed. They had seen their company survive a near-death experience, begin what appeared to be an ascendancy under new management, endure a botched network realignment at its largest unit that led to the firing of the unit's CEO, and were shocked to hear that the company without their knowledge had offered to buy most, if not all, of its largest union rival, Arkansas Best Corp., parent of ABF Freight System Inc.