TEAMSTERS END STRIKE AGAINST OVERNITE TRANSPORTATION
The Teamsters union has ended its three-year strike against Overnite Transportation Co., the trucking unit of Union Pacific Corp.
The Teamsters had been trying to organize the nationwide trucking company's workers on a city-by-city basis since 1994. The Teamsters won over workers at 27 of Overnite's 170 terminals, but the union and the company were never able to reach a contract, so the Teamsters called a strike in October 1999.
Both sides waged a contentious battle, accusing each other of bribes, violence and destruction. The union claimed Overnite refused to recognize the union and negotiate and it punished and fired workers who favored the union.
About 2,000 Overnite workers initially honored the strike. That number was down to 300 to 500 by the strike's end, and most of those had moved onto other jobs.
The Teamsters claimed gains were made during the strike, pointing out that hourly wages nearly quadrupled, from $5.25 to $19 an hour, and Overnite now pays overtime and provides improved health care, pension and vacation benefits, a union spokesman said.
An Overnite spokesman said the National Labor Relations Board told the company that three of the 26 locations were the Teamsters represent workers have voted out of the union. Workers in Rockford, Ill. recently voted for Teamster representation.
Overnite on Thursday reported a 19-percent increase in third-quarter operating income of $25.6 percent, on a pro forma basis. The results include $3.2 million of operating income from Motor Cargo, which was acquired in November 2001.
Operating revenues increased 7 percent to $349.6 million and Overnite's operating ratio improved to 92.7 percent from 93.4 percent in the third quarter of 2001.
It was the company's best overall performance since 1994.