The International Brotherhood of Teamsters has voted to modify its current labor agreement with YRC Worldwide, accepting a 10% reduction in gross wages and mileage rates and a suspension of a cost-of-living adjustment through March 31, 2013, in exchange for a 15% ownership stake in the company.

The modifications passed by a vote of 77% to 23%, with more than 75% of Teamsters members casting ballots. YRC, which consists of the Yellow Transportation, Roadway, Holland and New Penn freight companies, said that non-union employees will receive the same or greater reduction in total compensation with the option to purchase up to a 7% stake in the company.

“We are facing the worst economy in our lifetime, so we needed to act now to protect our members and their families,” said Jim Hoffa, Teamsters general president. “We worked hard to draft a plan that holds the company accountable, requires equal sacrifice among all YRCW employees, gives us the ability to obtain stock in the company, and places restrictions on where the savings can be used, among other protections for our members.”

According to the Teamsters, the plan has a provision that allows members to recover lost wages if the company's stock price increases, as well as protections such as language on monitoring and enforcement rights.

YRC said the move will save $220 million to $250 million annually.