Representatives from the Teamsters union livened up Union Pacific's annual shareholders meeting Friday in Salt Lake City with questions and allegation about UP subsidiary Overnite Transportation.
The Teamsters, who have been waging an unfair labor practices action against Overnite for six months, held a rally outside the Little America Hotel right before the shareholder's meeting that was being held there.
According to published reports, more than 50 union members gathered outside the hotel ballroom, carrying candles and bright yellow signs bearing the names of people they said Overnite fired for their union activities.
Most of the approximately 70 people who attended the shareholder's meeting showed little interest in the labor fight, but that didn't stop the Teamsters, about 20 of whom attended the meeting as shareholders, from pressing their grievances against the less-than-truckload carrier.
"We're trying to bring the shareholders of UP the knowledge of the lawlessness its subsidiary company, Overnite Trucking," said John Murphy, a regional vice president with the union.
During a question-and-answer session, one union member asked the board of directors how long shareholders would have to wait for resolution of the dispute, which is costing Overnite millions of dollars.
Union Pacific Chairman and Chief Executive Dick Davidson said he was proud of Overnite's "truly remarkable feat" in returning to profitability in the first quarter, showing a $500,000 profit after losses of nearly $14 million in the fourth quarter of 1999.