UPDATE 1-YRC Worldwide workers reject contract extension; shares fall

Thu Jan 9, 2014 7:38pm EST

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(Adds results of union vote; company, union comment)

Jan 9 (Reuters) - Workers at trucking company YRC Worldwide Inc represented by the Teamsters union rejected a contract extension that the company proposed, putting a plan to restructure its debt in jeopardy.

The company's shares were down 17 percent in extended trading after closing down 16 percent at $15.67 on the Nasdaq on early speculation that the union might reject the company's proposal.

Sixty-one percent of the workers voted down the company's proposal, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters said on their website. (r.reuters.com/tup85v)

YRC, which had over 31,000 workers as of February 2013, pushed back refinancing talks with bankers by a day to Friday, Thomson Reuters' RLPC reported earlier without naming sources.

About 26,000 of YRC's workers are represented by the Teamsters.

The company said it was "disappointed" in the outcome, but that it was in talks with union leaders to explore other options.

YRC, which was on the verge of bankruptcy in 2011, has to start repaying debt of more than $1 billion from February.

The Overland Park, Kansas-based company wrote off $300 million in debt in December to meet a primary requirement for the union's ratification of the vote.

The company's shares had more than doubled to Wednesday's close since the company said on Dec. 9 it expected annual savings of up to $100 million if union members voted to extend the contract.

BB&T Capital Markets analyst Tom Albrecht had said in November that the company could get debt relief even without a contract extension, if operational results were to improve, but that this was unlikely. (Reporting by Mridhula Raghavan and Sweta Singh in Bangalore; Editing by Don Sebastian, Maju Samuel)

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