No. 1 U.S. trucking company YRC Worldwide Inc plans to seek $1 billion in federal bailout money to help it cover its pension obligations, a spokeswoman said on Friday.

The company, which has been shedding jobs and closing facilities to cut costs in the face of a brutal U.S. recession faces an estimated $2 billion in pension obligations over the next four years, spokeswoman Suzanne Dawson confirmed

The move was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

Its shares were down 2 percent, or 7 cents, to $3.20 in early electronic trading.

YRC will submit an application to the Treasury as early as Friday.

In January, its unionized workers agreed to a 10 percent pay cut in return for a 15 percent stake in the company.

Over the past year, YRC shares have fallen 82 percent, a far steeper drop than the 43 percent fall of the Dow Jones Transportation Average <.DJT>.

(Reporting by Nick Carey in Chicago, additional reporting by Ajay Kamalakaran in Bangalore, writing by Scott Malone; Editing by Derek Caney)