CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — In July, Yellow Corp. shut down operations and laid off around 30,000 workers across the country.
“I had to come out and take my stuff out. It was sad, knowing I would never get back in that truck and drive again,” former Holland Freight driver Allen Buyers said.
For 23 years, Buyers parked his cars in the company parking lot off of Stateville Road, which today looks like a graveyard of empty trucks.
“All of those trucks represent a man and his family,” he said.
Holland is one of the several subsidiaries of Yellow Corp. On Sunday, July 30, Buyers and at least 600 other drivers across the region learned they no longer had a job.
“Yeah, on my way into church, they fired me,” Buyers said.
In its Chapter 11 Bankruptcy filing last month, Yellow shed light on its financial struggles. The company estimated its debt to be around $400 million more than its entire worth.
The filing came three years after the company received a $700 million pandemic loan from the federal government.
“We gave over 10 years of 15% of our pay every week to this company. We gave up part of our pension for 10 years, and at the end, they got a $700 million bailout during COVID from the United States government, and they still put us out of business,” Buyers said.
On top of being out of a job, Buyers says Yellow still owes him and his former co-workers money. He says he is waiting on a $2,200 check for his unused sick and vacation time.
“I have a friend. He is owed 33 days, which is almost $7,000. And he is not working,” Buyers said.
Buyers isn’t working either. Despite applying to other trucking companies across the region, he feels like, as a union member, he is getting blackballed.
“Out of all of the guys I know, maybe seven or eight got jobs doing what we did. Most of them have to go doing other odd jobs or changing their craft because they can’t get in the door anywhere,” Buyers said.