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Teamsters Overnite Strike Starts 12th Week

January 9, 2000

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Another Overnite Transportation truck was shot at in Memphis last week, but neither the less-than-truckload company nor the Teamsters is ready to budge as the union enters the 12th week of its unfair labor practices strike.

No contract talks are in sight as Overnite keeps spending $1 million a week to deal with security and staffing issues related to the strike. Meanwhile, the financially troubled union is paying more than $90,000 a week in strike benefits to the more than 900 workers who are on strike. Another 900 workers are also on strike, according to the union, but don't get strike benefits because they've found temporary jobs. Overnite, however, says only 760 of its workers are on strike.
That isn't the only thing the two sides disagree on. Overnite has filed a defamation suit against the union, claiming it is spreading false statements about the impact of the strike.
The company has also gone to court to fight the scattered violence that has marked the strike. The company has won 21 court injunctions against the union for strike-related activities. The union has won at least two injunctions against Overnite, forcing its drivers to slow down as they pass picket lines.
The most recent incident happened last Tuesday night, when someone fired three bullets into a truck leaving Overnite's terminal in Memphis. The bullets barely missed the driver and his wife. Overnite is offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of the shooter.
Overnite says its workers have been shot at 25 times and hit two dozen times by objects thrown at their trucks. The most serious happened in Memphis Dec. 1, when an Overnite driver was seriously injured by a shot to the stomach. Overnite has offered a $1 million reward in conjunction with that incident.

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