Teamsters File National Charge Against Overnite
September 18, 2000
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters has filed a national charge against Overnite Transportation on behalf of Teamster locals. The union claims Overnite has engaged in a corporate-wide campaign to interfere with employees' federally protected labor rights by paying for false testimony and by paying individuals to damage company and union property and equipment.
The union is asking the National Labor Relations Board for an investigatory subpoena. It says the FBI, the Justice Department and the Baird Investigation (an outside investigation launched by Overnite parent company Union Pacific) are already investigating these charges.
The union cites the following examples, among many others:
· Anthony Holly, an Overnite driver in Jackson, Tenn., has filed a sworn affidavit that the terminal managers in Jackson and Memphis, Tenn., asked him to damage company equipment. Holly admitted that, at Overnite's request, he gave false testimony before the NLRB, which resulted in the discharge of two union supporters. In return for his efforts in support of Overnite, the company wired $22,500 into Holly's bank accounts, says the union.
· G.W. Williams, a Yellow Freight driver, filed an affidavit about his witnessing of the Overnite terminal manager's involvement in a June fire at the Overnite facility in Tupelo, Miss. The Overnite terminal manager is the prime suspect in the alleged arson at the terminal, says the union.
· Charles Friskey, an Overnite employee in Rochester, N.Y., said he was offered $500 in "bounty money" to sign affidavits and testify that he saw individuals damaging Overnite equipment.
· Dale Watson, former Operations Manager in Memphis, says Overnite maintained a "hit list" of union supporters and encouraged supervisors to create reasons for disciplining or discharging the union activists.
· Bomb threats at Overnite's Memphis terminal late last year may have come from Overnite employees and a law firm that works for Overnite, according to Memphis Police Department reports.
The Teamsters have been engaged in an unfair labor practices action against Overnite since Oct. 24, 1999.