TRUCKING

Teamsters OK YRC contract

YRC Worldwide Inc.’s unionized workforce overwhelmingly approved a revised contract Sunday with the Overland Park, Kan., trucking company, with the Teamsters union saying the vote will save about 30,000 jobs.

Teamsters across the nation voted 12,202 to 6,337 for a contract extension through March 2019, according to the union’s website.

In Ohio, Teamsters Local 24 members who work at YRC’s Copley facility and at subsidiary USF Holland in Green voted 314-136 in favor. Members of Local 407, which represents YRC workers in Richfield, voted 124-73 in favor.

The tentative agreement contains “significant improvements” over a proposed contract that union members soundly rejected earlier this month, the union said.

YRC said the new pact will allow it to “achieve a complete recapitalization and achieve a healthy capital structure.” The company had said that if Teamsters rejected this latest offering it could file for bankruptcy. YRC was created when Yellow Freight bought rival Akron-based Roadway in 2003 for $1.1 billion.

Guilty pleas entered

Two former Pilot Flying J sales employees pleaded guilty Monday in federal court to charges stemming from a fuel rebate fraud investigation — the ninth so far since federal agents raided the corporate headquarters last year, the Knoxville (Tenn.) News Sentinel reported Monday.

Browns owner Jimmy Haslam’s family owns Pilot Flying J.

Christopher Andrews told U.S. District Judge Amul Thapar that he is pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and mail fraud.

Earlier Monday, the former Pilot director of sales for national accounts, Brian Mosher, of Bettendorf, Iowa, pleaded guilty to similar charges.

Local Business

Speakers Bureau reopens

Akron SCORE, the nonprofit business counseling group, said Monday that it has reactivated its Speakers Bureau with 12 counselors available to meet with business and civic organizations in Summit, Medina, Portage and Wayne counties.

A SCORE speaker can be scheduled by calling 330-379-3163 or by sending an email to akronscore81@aol.com.

Chuck Hurst, a resident of Stow, has been appointed Speakers Bureau chair.

Akron SCORE, a volunteer group, said the speakers are experienced executives who donate their time and talent at no charge to encourage and develop startup and existing businesses.

The organization said that last year it helped more than 400 small businesses in its service area through one-on-one mentoring and workshops designed to give clients improved business skills. Also last year, Akron SCORE counselors conducted more than 1,000 sessions and 86 Akron workshops attracted 1,400 participants.

HOUSING

U.S. sales surge in 2013

Sales of new homes in the United States fell in December for a second consecutive month but even with that pause, sales for all of 2013 climbed to the highest level in five years.

Sales of new homes dropped 7 percent in December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 414,000, the Commerce Department reported Monday. In November, sales had fallen 3.9 percent.

For the whole year, sales were up 16.4 percent to 428,000, the highest level since 2008. It marked the second year that sales have risen after six consecutive annual declines. Sales of new homes peaked at 1.28 million in 2005. Analysts expect further sales gains in 2014.

The median price of a new home was $270,200 in December, up 4.6 percent from a year ago.

AIRLINES

Southwest heading to islands

To the sound of steel drums playing Caribbean music, Southwest Airlines on Monday announced it will fly to Aruba, the Bahamas and Jamaica starting July 1, the first international destinations served by the Dallas-based carrier.

The daily, nonstop flights, to depart from Atlanta, Baltimore and Orlando, Fla., currently are served by Southwest subsidiary AirTran Airways. Tickets went on sale Monday.

Later this year, the company plans to add the Mexican destinations of Cancun, Los Cabos and Mexico City as well as Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. AirTran currently serves those cities.

Compiled from staff, wire reports