Minnesota Local Must Pay Overnite $30,000

Anoka County (Minn.) Dist. Judge James A. Morrow ordered Int’l Bhd. of Teamsters Local 120 to pay $29,873 in damages to Overnite Transp. Co. in connection with violence and misconduct that has occurred in the Minneapolis area during IBT’s ongoing strike against Overnite. Local 120 boss C. Thomas Keegel also serves as IBT’s secretary-treasurer, the number two post to IBT boss James P. Hoffa.

Since in Nov. 1999, Morrow has issued a series of orders to stop to violence, intimidation and other violations of the law at Overnite’s facility in Blaine, Minn. Because of violence and property damage, Overnite brought a motion for contempt. Morrow found “overwhelming” evidence that IBT repeatedly violated the orders. Morrow’s findings included:

1) Two separate instances where IBT picketers jumped onto Overnite vehicles. In one case, Morrow found a picketer opened a driver’s door and attempted to grab an Overnite employee to pull him out of the truck.

2) Forcing an Overnite employee off the road while the employee was driving home in his personal vehicle and threatening to kill the employee.

3) Dozens of incidents of property damage to Overnite vehicles, including numerous instances of flattened tires, shattered windows and windshields, including many incidents where Overnite vehicles have been traveling on a roadway and had a window or windshield shot out.

4) Several instances of threatening behavior directed toward Overnite employees while operating vehicles on the highway, including swerving in front of trucks and slamming on  brakes.

5) Many instances of property damage to Overnite employees’ personal vehicles while at work and at home.

6) Repeated threats of violence and intimidation directed toward employees and their families, as well as items being thrown at vehicles, including marbles, eggs, and human waste. [Overnite Transp. Co., Media Release 6/30/00]

“Education” of Members Begins
In yet another example of how unions influence elections, the AFL-CIO has begun a campaign to “educate” its members on the presidential candidates via “Texas Truth Squad Town Hall Forums.” The cost of such political activity in support of Al Gore avoids strict reporting requirements imposed on other organizations and debunks unions’ oft-cited statistic that business labor “11-to-1.”

The meetings will be chaired by the top AFL-CIO bosses, which may include secretary-treasurer Richard L. Trumka who invoked the Fifth Amendment to avoid federal investigators’ questions on union corruption.

The first forum, chaired by AFL-CIO top boss John J. Sweeney, was June 29 in Philadelphia. Others are planned for Louisville, July 17; Atlanta, July 18; Cincinnati, July 20; Cleveland, July 26; Las Vegas, Aug. 5; Hartford, Aug. 8; Albuquerque, Aug. 9; and Charleston, W. Va., Aug. 23. [BNA 7/10/00]