It Seems Rather Unlikely That the Teamsters Union is to Blame for the Bankruptcy of Yellow Corporation

William Keckler
3 min readAug 22, 2023

Yellow Corporation filed for bankruptcy at the end of July. Thirty thousand people are now unemployed at the various subsidiaries. I worked for two of those subsidiaries in the relatively distant past. I always respected the hard work and sweat of those around me, especially those working the more physically demanding jobs. Now all those jobs are erased. And who will profit from this total write-off? Another damn hedge fund, this one out of Boston. People who probably never worked a day of physically demanding labor in their lives snatch up stock to turn a profit on the lives of union workers who were asked to give up their health benefits so that the upper management, the “ownership class,” could continue to live lavish lives. This is quintessential predatory capitalism, not the good kind. It’s what’s ruining our country.

There’s been an attempt in certain quarters of the media to try to spin the story of this bankruptcy in the direction of an attack on the Teamsters Union. I’d say we should listen to an insider’s take on this: “Don’t You Dare Blame Working Teamsters for the Bankruptcy at Yellow.” What do the young kids say today? Oh right: “Facts.”

“Dollar Bill” William Zollars probably deserves more blame than anyone, if we’re going to trace things backwards to bad business decisions made on behalf of Yellow Corporation. But don’t you worry about Dollar Bill. He landed on his feet like a cat. He was helped to land on those feet by none other than his good buddy Donald Trump.

Trump went against his own Department of Defense’s strong recommendation against giving a 700 million dollar bailout to Yellow. He had Mnuchin shepherd the process and Mark Meadows also ran interference. Once again Donald Trump is vindicated in any possible challenges to the idea that he is truly one of the worst businessmen on the planet. But wouldn’t you love to see how that 700 million dollars was spent as Yellow went down in flames. I bet so many interesting financial crimes are going to be buried in that Yellow grave. Can’t you just hear the sounds of golden parachutes popping open as the working men and women were told to go pound pavement and kick sand?

You have to wonder what angle Trump was really working. This was before the 2020 election and some have speculated that it was an attempt to curry the favor of a huge union (the Teamsters). But I wonder if it was not advanced in anticipation of some future kickbacks for the Trump Corporation…Trump himself, basically. We all know Donald lives and breathes favors with price tags dangling from them.

Yellow had actually been bilking the Department of Defense, overcharging them for freight moves and had to settle up and pay millions back to the government. So you can see why they might not be on the preferred clients list when Donald suggested this. I’m guessing he and Dollar Bill go way back. Just like Louis DeJoy, Dollar Bill got a cushy USPS postal appointment. And one guess from which industry DeJoy had just crossed over. Yeah, freight. He had been at XPO. Oh, and look at the USPS contract being awarded to DeJoy’s former employer. What a big surprise!

I think the Teamsters have a fantastic point in saying it’s time to talk about reform in bankruptcy laws. While I’d take any bets that upper management made sure to “get theirs” before pulling the plug on the various subsidiaries, look at what happened to the vast majority of the workforce, who may be out severance pay and retirement benefits. All those years of dedication and loyalty and now bupkis. Who gets to say where the last of the filthy lucre goes, anyway? There should be some sort of ethics brought to bear on the final division of the fruits of everyone’s labor.

You could probably spend all day just following the tendrils in this spiderweb of the Yellow banruptcy. You soon learn (no surprise) that all the corrupt super-wealthy are in bed together and are slicing up the cake that is America and serving it to each other all day long. But nobody should be left wondering why America itself is constantly being weakened. It’s the rottenness from within that threatens us more than the enemies without.

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William Keckler

Writer, visual artist. Books include Sanskrit of the Body, which won in the U.S. National Poetry Series (Penguin). https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/532348.