Labor Board Rules Overnite Intimidated Laredo Employees
October 21, 1999
The National Labor Relations Board ruled Monday that Overnite Transportation was guilty of threatening, coercing and intimidating workers because they were exercising their right to organize at the company's Laredo, TX, terminal.
The ruling was the result of a complaint filed in August. The NLRB allowed Overnite to negotiate an informal settlement for the violation.
Under the terms of the settlement, Overnite will be required to post a notice promising that it will not interrogate its workers about union activities, offer benefits in exchange for not supporting the union, tell its workers voting for the union will be futile, threaten to close terminals if the union is voted in, or make other threats.
The Teamsters union, which has been trying to organize Overnite for four years, was not happy with the ruling.
"When will the Labor Board get serious with Overnite?" asked John Murphy, Teamsters national director of organizing. "This company is an unrepentant, repeat violator of our nation's labor laws. Where is the … injunction to hold this company in criminal contempt for its ongoing violations of the laws that area supposed to protect America's workers?"
According to the Teamsters, Overnite's conduct has resulted in more than 1,000 complaints being filed against the less-than-truckload company with the NLRB. The union has threatened an unfair labor practices strike against the company, but has not yet followed through on that threat.
Meanwhile, in the continuing terminal-by-terminal battle, Overnite employees at the company's St. Louis terminal have petitioned the NLRB to decertify the Teamsters as their bargaining agent. This follows another recent decertification petition from Overnite's Minneapolis facility.
The Teamsters recently withdrew from a representation election scheduled for yesterday at Overnite's Mobile, AL, service center. According to Overnite, the union has now withdrawn from the first two of five scheduled rerun representation elections for terminals that previously rejected the Teamsters. In late September, the union withdrew from a scheduled election at the Los Angeles terminal. Of the last nine representation votes at Overnite facilities, employees have rejected the union seven times.