Yellow Corp.’s bankruptcy case is progressing on several fronts—but not yet on the one with the biggest dollar amounts at play.
In recent weeks, Yellow attorneys exchanged filings with their peers at the Central States Pension Fund and the federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware about how to resolve the question of the company’s remaining pension obligations. Yellow, which was the sixth-ranked carrier on the 2023 FleetOwner 500: For Hire list before it shut down in July, claimed in December that the PBGC’s early-2023 bailout of Central States meant the pension plan couldn’t then also claim billions from Yellow.
International Brotherhood of Teamsters-affiliated Central States asked Yellow last summer to cover nearly $5 billion in withdrawal liabilities (the company’s alleged share of unfunded benefits) and another $900 million in so-called participation guarantees. Yellow called those claims an attempt to collect “hundreds of millions of dollars in damages it has not sustained” and said pension officials were asking for “free money.”
Lawyers for Central States responded in early January not by directly addressing the legal merits of their claim but by saying that various federal courts have held that a dispute over pension