Overnite Transportation's appeal of a National Labor Relations Board decision goes before the U.S. Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., today.

The appeal is the result of an NLRB decision last November that the company illegally interfered in a 1995 Teamsters representation election at four Overnite terminals. The union lost elections for representation at terminals in Bridgeton, Mo., Louisville, Ky., Norfolk, Va., and North Atlanta, Ga. After the Teamsters union filed complaints with the labor board, the NLRB ruled that Overnite had told workers unionization would be futile, threatened that employees would lose their jobs and that the business would be closed if they voted for the union, threatened employees with stricter discipline and more onerous working conditions, and invited employees to quit if they wanted a job with a union company.
The decision ordered Overnite to pay millions of dollars in wages and interest that were "unlawfully withheld" in 1996 from Teamster-represented workers at the trucking company, according to the Teamsters. It also awarded bargaining orders at the four terminals, giving the Teamsters the right to represent the workers at those terminals.
Ira Rosenfeld, spokesman for Overnite, says the company did not agree with the NLRB's decision. "We appealed it and we're finally getting our day in court," he said. "I think not only did a majority of people vote against the teamsters in 1995, they're still voting against them today with their feet every day. The Teamster job action should affect those four facilities, yet only 3% of the people there are honoring the picket lines. Only 11 people in the four facilities are staying out. I don't believe the majority of the people wanted the teamsters there in 1995, I don't believe they want them there today."