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Yellow Corporation Files Voluntary Chapter 11 Petitions

August 07, 2023, 08:07 AM
Filed Under: Bankruptcy

Yellow Corporation and certain of its direct and indirect subsidiaries filed voluntary petitions for relief under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware for the Company’s planned operational wind-down.

To facilitate this process, the Company expects to enter into an agreement, setting forth the terms and conditions of a debtor-in-possession financing facility (the “DIP Facility”). Upon approval by the Bankruptcy Court and the satisfaction of the conditions set forth in the agreement, the DIP Facility will provide the Company with needed liquidity which will be used to support the businesses throughout the marketing and sale process, including payment of certain prepetition wages.

The Company and its subsidiaries continue to manage their businesses and properties as “debtors-in-possession” under the jurisdiction of the Bankruptcy Court and in accordance with the applicable provisions of the Bankruptcy Code and orders of the Bankruptcy Court. The Company filed a number of motions with the Bankruptcy Court designed to facilitate the Company’s orderly wind-down of the businesses. Certain of these motions seek authority from the Bankruptcy Court for the Company to make payments upon, or otherwise honor, certain obligations that arose prior to the filed voluntary petitions, including obligations related to employee wages, salaries and benefits, taxes, and certain vendors and other providers of goods and services essential to the Company’s businesses. The Company expects that the Bankruptcy Court will approve the relief sought in these motions on an interim basis.

“It is with profound disappointment that Yellow announces that it is closing after nearly 100 years in business,” said Yellow’s Chief Executive Officer, Darren Hawkins. “Today, it is not common for someone to work at one company for 20, 30, or even 40 years, yet many at Yellow did. For generations, Yellow provided hundreds of thousands of Americans with solid, good-paying jobs and fulfilling careers.”

Yellow employees took great pride in servicing customers from big box stores to small family businesses across America. Its 30,000 freight professionals, both union and non-union employees, were the unsung heroes throughout the pandemic, delivering goods to every state, ensuring that our supply chain kept moving and our economy remained strong.

“All workers and employers should take note of our experience with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (“IBT”) and worry,” said Hawkins. “We faced nine months of union intransigence, bullying and deliberately destructive tactics. A company has the right to manage its own operations, but as we have experienced, IBT leadership was able to halt our business plan, literally driving our company out of business, despite every effort to work with them.”

Several years ago, Yellow recognized that it needed to modernize operations to compete with non-union carriers that increasingly dominated the industry. Yellow developed the common-sense “One Yellow” business plan to make Yellow more competitive while strengthening jobs and improving customer service. One Yellow called for raising employees’ pay and creating more jobs, while providing stability for all stakeholders. One Yellow aimed to put Yellow on the right path, fixing legacy issues created long ago, making Yellow the industry-dominant company it once was.

The operational changes necessary to implement One Yellow required approval from IBT leadership. In August 2022, IBT leadership approved the first phase of One Yellow in the western U.S. and the plan was a success: redundancies were reduced, freight departed terminals earlier and customer service improved. Unfortunately, despite Phase One’s approval and success, IBT leadership implemented a nine-month blockade, halting the remainder of Yellow’s business plan. This caused Yellow irreparable harm.

In the spring, while their blockade of One Yellow was ongoing, IBT leaders demanded that Yellow open its contract nearly one year early, and Yellow agreed, yet its goodwill was met with hostility. Instead of negotiating a contract, Yellow faced months of public insult from IBT, including a social media post depicting a tombstone with Yellow’s name on it along with the dates 1924-2023. This ruthless campaign included repeated public taunts calling for Yellow’s demise and was intended to put Yellow out of business. At the same time, IBT leadership spread false claims that Yellow was trying to exact “concessions” from its union employees. Nothing was further from the truth. Combined with months of refusals to negotiate, IBT leaders’ campaign against Yellow caused grave concern among investors, drove away customers, and put 30,000 jobs at risk.

By summer, Yellow’s losses from the delay in implementing One Yellow had reached more than $137 million in adjusted EBITDA. On June 26, 2023, Yellow filed a lawsuit against IBT citing breach of contract and loss of enterprise value. The lawsuit is pending, and the damages have grown since. For more information, please visit

As the IBT continued to stonewall and publicly disparage Yellow, Yellow management kept employees informed that the situation was increasingly dire. Yellow made it clear to IBT leadership that their blockade of One Yellow severely constrained Yellow’s cash flow and its ability to refinance debt. Yellow was forced to take measures to preserve liquidity to give IBT leaders more time to finally engage. Instead, IBT leaders announced a strike against Yellow’s then-significantly wounded company. Customers fled and business was not recoverable.

“While IBT leaders may believe they won a battle against Yellow, it’s our employees and their families who have lost,” said Hawkins. “We tried everything to work with IBT leadership and did all we could to save employees’ jobs. We are crushed by today’s announcement, yet we are grateful to our tens of thousands of employees who took care of our customers until the end. Our employees are professionals who, despite heavy hearts, worked diligently to clear the docks, deliver remaining freight, and close our terminal doors one last time. It is with this same professionalism that we intend to wind down our business, maximize recoveries for creditors and pay back the CARES Act loan in full.”

Kirkland & Ellis LLP is serving as the Company’s restructuring counsel, Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP is serving as the Company’s Delaware local counsel, Kasowitz, Benson and Torres LLP is serving as special litigation counsel, Goodmans LLP is serving as the Company’s special Canadian counsel, Ducera Partners LLC is serving as the Company’s investment banker, and Alvarez and Marsal is serving as the Company’s financial advisor.

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