Last week's contract negotiations between the Teamsters and Overnite Transportation made little progress, as the two sides disagreed on Overnite's plan to change health care providers and Overnite wanted to declare an impasse on several contract items the union believes are still on the table.

The negotiations took place Wednesday and Thursday in Washington, DC.
This time the negotiations centered on Overnite's new health plan for January 2001. Overnite wants to change health care providers.
The Teamsters didn't oppose the change as long as it did not increase the out-of-pocket expenses for members. However, Overnite would not guarantee that out-of-pocket expenses would not increase with the change in providers and therefore there was no agreement on that issue, according to the union.
John Neil Raudabaugh, Overnite's hired negotiator, attempted to declare an impasse on some of the articles of the contract that are still open, the Teamsters report. For instance:
* The Teamsters want Overnite to pay a worker who is injured on the job a full day's pay, which they say is the industry standard. Overnite wants the worker paid for only the hours the worker worked.
* Overnite wants to restrict the power of the stewards to investigate worker grievances.
* Overnite wants to restrict the right of members to honor picket lines.
* Overnite refuses to cover the cost of maintaining the uniforms.
* The union says Overnite wants to be able to force a worker out on the road, even if the operator believes the equipment is unsafe. The Teamsters contend that the operator of the equipment should determine whether the equipment is unsafe.
Contract articles that are still being discussed include who has the right to post information for union members, the use of video surveillance, substitute service, leaves of absence, pay rates, work day/work week, meal period, pay period, subcontracting, sanitary conditions, and others.
The Teamsters complain that while they have a fully qualified negotiating team at the table with
members who are intimately familiar with freight operations, Overnite's representatives basically don't know what they're doing. The union says Raudabaugh has no experience in the freight industry.
Contract negotiations will resume in September.