International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 107 in Philadelphia and a picket line captain were found in contempt of court last week and fined a total of $30,000 in connection with an assault on an Overnite Transportation driver.
Bucks County Court of Common Pleas President Judge R. Barry McAndrews found Teamster Jim Milligan and the union local in contempt of a prior injunction prohibiting certain picketing conduct and acts of violence against the company and its employees. The Teamsters have been on strike against Overnite for six months.
Milligan, who was handcuffed and remanded to the custody of the Bucks County Sheriff, was sentenced to 120 days in jail. Judge McAndrews ordered that Milligan, who has never been employed by Overnite, could be released from custody by providing written assurance that he would pay a $10,000 fine in 10 days and that he would withdraw from all participation in the strike.
Judge McAndrews also fined International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 107 $20,000 in connection with the incident.
According to court papers, an Overnite driver was assaulted while en route to work in his personal vehicle on April 13, just one day prior to his scheduled testimony as a witness in a second case involving alleged threats by a Teamster in a separate incident in the Philadelphia
area. The driver, who was struck in the face during the April 13 attack, identified Milligan in court as one of his assailants.
The National Labor Relations Board has issued nine complaints against the Teamsters for
violence and threats of violence during the labor dispute.
A federal task force is investigating possible Teamster links to 48 reported shootings and numerous acts of assault and vandalism aimed at Overnite and its employees since the protest began six months ago.
The Teamsters are the certified and recognized bargaining agents for approximately 14 percent of Overnite's work force, representing employees at 22 of the company's 166 service centers. There have been five bargaining sessions since February, the most recent this past week, with no progress toward an agreement. A sixth session is scheduled for mid-May.