While Overnite workers at the company's small Laredo, TX, operation voted for Teamster representation last week, for the second time in as many years, employees of Overnite's Memphis, TN, hub are attempting to remove the Teamsters as their bargaining representative.
These are the latest volleys in the Teamsters' battle to unionize the LTL carrier, which has been going on since late 1994. To date, the Teamsters say, they have won elections and bargaining orders at 37 terminals.
According to the Teamsters union, workers at the Laredo terminal voted to join the Teamsters union today by better than two-to-one. "The Laredo workers stood strong despite Overnite's thuggish tactics, intimidation, captive meetings, and fancy dinners," said James P. Hoffa, Teamsters president. The election results were 7 votes for, 3 against, with one challenged ballot.
The Memphis facility, one of Overnite's hubs, employs more than 400 people. An earlier effort to remove the union as its bargaining agent was filed on October 21, 1998, and denied by the NLRB on April 22, 1999. This is the 11th time since the Teamsters began their current organizing campaign that employees of a represented service center have filed a petition to decertify the union. The NLRB declined to allow those petitions to proceed to decertification elections due to unresolved charges filed by the Teamsters, charging unfair labor practices against Overnite.
There are two upcoming elections for Teamster representation: the workers at Overnite's Los Angeles terminal have a September 28, 1999, election date and the workers at Overnite's Syracuse, NY, terminal have a September 30, 1999, election date.