Teamsters-Overnite Talks Going Nowhere
April 7, 2000
Contract negotiations between Overnite Transportation and the Teamsters union resumed last week, but the union accused the less-than-truckload company of stonewalling.
"Overnite's chief negotiator returned to his immature behavior of the past," said a Teamsters statement. "Leaving the room constantly for caucuses, refusing to discuss issues in substance and refusing to address issues of immediate concern for the Overnite strikers."
The union has been engaged in an unfair labor practices strike at the company since late October, although only a fraction of Overnite's employees are union members.
During last week's talks, the Teamsters wanted to address the issue of vacation pay. The union says Overnite is required to pay vacation pay, even for those workers involved in the strike. It complains that Overnite is pro-rating and reducing the amount of vacation pay by the amount of time the workers were on strike last year. Overnite refused to discuss the issue, say the Teamsters, who say they will file additional unfair labor practice charges on this issue.
Contract negotiations are scheduled to resume after Overnite's annual shareholders meeting April 25-27.
The Teamsters last week launched an ad campaign blasting Overnite and parent company Union Pacific. In a letter to its customers, Overnite's John W. Fain, senior vice president, belittled the union's message. "The Teamsters, who have failed in their attempt to effect our daily operations or sway you, our customers from abandoning Overnite, are now mounting a last-ditch attempt to embarrass us in the eyes of shareholders," he wrote.