Yellow Corp., the third-largest U.S. LTL carrier and the largest union employer in the sector, ceased operations as of noon EDT Sunday, according to notices posted for customers and employees.
“For customer-related concerns please call 800-160-6500,” the notices said.
The trucking company also added a service alert to its website with an online form for customers with questions or concerns.
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which has 22,000 members at the company, said Sunday it had been served legal notice Yellow is filing for bankruptcy. A spokesperson for Yellow declined to comment Sunday night.
It’s the end of a long road for the 99-year-old carrier, founded in Oklahoma City, which employed another 8,000 non-union employees.
The company, which came close to folding four other times since the Great Recession, received a $700 million bailout from the U.S. Treasury three years ago. But it has blamed its financial troubles on its nine-month battle with the union over labor provisions of its One Yellow network overhaul.
The back-and-forth culminated in the Nashville-based carrier filing a $137 million lawsuit against the Teamsters, accusing the union of “unjustifiably blocking” its plan to combine its four operating companies, YRC Freight, New Penn, Holland and Reddaway.
Yellow’s woes worsened when the cash-strapped company did not make pension and benefit payments for June, prompting a strike threat by the union that caused customers to began fleeing en masse in the last few weeks.
The union narrowly averted a strike in the 11th hour, working out a deal to allow the company to defer the pension payments. But the accelerating freight diversions had already taken their toll. The carrier put up its brokerage for sale last week as it stopped picking up customers’ new freight.
“Today’s news is unfortunate but not surprising,” Teamsters General President Sean O’Brien said in a statement Sunday.
He further criticized Yellow management, saying the company has shown it could not manage itself despite billions of dollars in worker concessions and hundreds of millions in bailout funding from the federal government.
“This is a sad day for workers and the American freight industry,” O’Brien said.
Edwin Lopez contributed to this story.