Yesterday afternoon, Teamsters President James P. Hoffa asked members who were on an unfair labor practice strike at 11 Overnite terminals to return to work.
The walkout, which started Monday, eventually spread to 11 terminals: Kansas City, Memphis, Atlanta, Indianapolis, North Atlanta, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Toledo, Marietta (GA), Milwaukee, Miami and New Orleans. Toledo, Minneapolis and Milwaukee started picketing Friday morning, with pickets returning to the Marietta location after disappearing earlier in the week.
Although Overnite refused to meet with Teamsters representatives to discuss their complaints, Hoffa said the picketing was a success. "You have sent Overnite the message, loud and clear, that you want the Overnite bosses to cease their unfair labor practices immediately … the ball is now in Overnite's court."
Overnite said it continued to serve all its normal service points throughout the strike, and said picket lines had already started to thin by Friday. "Although the Teamsters are attempting to broaden the locations of the strike, the picket lines continue to thin out," said Overnite spokesman John Fain yesterday morning.
The Teamsters are the certified bargaining agent for Overnite employees at 21 of the company's 166 locations, and Teamsters are in negotiations for a first contract. Overnite says eight of those locations have filed to decertify the Teamsters as their bargaining representatives. The Teamsters, on the other hand, say that 17 additional Overnite terminals are "awaiting certification pending never-ending appeals by Overnite."