Teamsters Launch Boycott Of Retail Chain
December 9, 1999
The Teamsters Union yesterday announced a national boycott of the Bed, Bath & Beyond retail chain until it stops doing business with Overnite Transportation.
The announcement came during a rally of more than 500 union members at the chain's flagship store in Manhattan. Hoffa was joined in the call for a boycott by AFL-CIO President John Sweeney, New York City Central Labor Council President Brian McLaughlin, and other labor leaders.
The Teamsters have been picketing Overnite to protest unfair labor practices since Oct. 24. In this latest action, the union is urging its members and the public to stop shopping at Bed, Bath & Beyond as long as it keeps using Overnite for its shipping.
"Overnite's customers keep this union-busting anti-worker company in business," Hoffa said. "If they want to keep Overnite in business, then their business might suffer as well."
Meanwhile, two more Overnite terminals have filed decertification petitions with the National Labor Relations Board.
Throughout its organizing efforts at Overnite, the Teamsters union has targeted the company's customers. Earlier this year, they sent a video to Overnite customers that featured several celebrities supporting the union's efforts. During the current strike, Teamsters are using "ambulatory pickets" - following Overnite trucks to customer locations and picketing there.
In Columbus, OH, the ambulatory tactic prompted a complaint from the National Labor Relations Board. According to published reports, Teamsters Local 413 got a complaint from the NLRB alleging that union members were picketing Overnite customer Oasis Corp. when there were no Overnite trucks at the facility. Teamsters officials say the act was involuntary and was only for about 10 minutes after the truck left.
A decertification petition at Overnite's Grand Rapids, MI, terminal, was dismissed by the NLRB. Overnite is appealing the decision. It is the second time the terminal has tried for decertification this year.
The labor board will hold a hearing Monday, Dec. 13, on the decertification petition from Overnite's Sacramento, CA, service center.