An "overwhelming majority" of about 160 workers at the UPS Freight (formerly Overnite Transportation) terminals in Cincinnati, Ohio; Williamsport, Md.; and Bristol, Tenn. have signed authorization cards to become Teamsters,
the union reports, bringing the total number of drivers and dockworkers seeking to join the union to about 7,800 since January 16.
The workers are seeking to join Local 100 in Cincinnati, Local 549 in Blountville, Tenn., and Local 992 in Hagerstown, Md.
In 2006, the Teamsters and UPS secured a "card check" agreement that would allow UPS Freight employees to vote for union representation. UPS would recognize the union if over 50 percent of its Freight employees agree to representation.
Following a lunch with Teamsters President James Hoffa last month at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., John Larkin with Stifel Nicolaus Transportation & Logistics Research Group noted that "the Teamsters are gaining meaningful traction in the transportation space and would likely be able to make serious incremental inroads at target companies (particularly UPS Freight and FedEx Ground) should the Employee Free Choice Act pass the next Congress and be signed into law by the next President."
Back when it was Overnite, which was vehemently anti-union, the company prevailed against a bitter three-year Teamsters strike over organizing efforts, which ended in October 2002.
In addition to the workers in Cincinnati, Williamsport and Bristol, a majority of UPS Freight workers in West Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, Indiana, California, Florida, Arkansas, South Carolina, Texas, Illinois, Arizona, New York, Kentucky and New England, including the large cities of Chicago, Las Vegas, Dallas, Nashville, San Antonio, Cleveland, Atlanta, Houston, San Diego, St. Louis, Orlando, Charlotte, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Oakland, Seattle, Memphis and Detroit, have submitted cards to become Teamsters.