Hearing on Secondary Boycott of Overnite Set

A Nat’l Labor Relations Bd. administrative law judge in Atlanta will hear testimony on Apr. 15 on Overnite Transportation Co.’s allegations that the Int’l Bhd. of Teamsters engaged in an illegal secondary boycott when union activists picketed a number of the freight company’s customers.  The union engaged in numerous unlawful acts as part of its strategy of “ambulatory picketing” at sites where Overnite trucks were delivering or picking up goods from customers, says Overnite.  The hearing comes 30 months after IBT members struck the Richmond, Va.-based carrier in what the union claimed was an unfair labor practice strike. The ongoing job action, which has been marked by a barrage of litigation before NLRB as well as in state and federal courts, appears no closer to settlement today than it did when it began in 1999.

The secondary boycott charges against IBT relate to a series of picketing incidents that occurred between July 1999 and Feb. 2001 at customer locations in several states. The complaint names 12 union locals and two joint councils in the consolidated complaint. Some two dozen IBT bosses are named, including IBT  vice president John Murphy, who heads IBT’s organizing department, and vice president Phil Young, the director of the freight division. Among the customers that Overnite contends were subject to IBT’s unlawful secondary boycott activity are J.C. Penney Co. and Mack Trucks Inc.

In addition to picketing Overnite terminals early in the strike, the union began using teams of mobile picketers who followed Overnite trucks when they left a terminal and set up temporary picket lines at a customer’s facility while a delivery was being loaded or unloaded. While the Overnite truck and the union pickets were at the customer’s property, trucks driven by IBT members employed by other carriers such as Yellow Freight or United Parcel Serv. would not cross the picket lines. [BNA 3/18/02]

Trespasses Lead to Nationwide Ban of UFCW in Wal-Mart Stores
An Ark. state court judge issued an order permanently enjoining the United Food & Commercial Workers Int’l Union from entering Wal-Mart stores to solicit employees to join the union. The judge said the injunction would apply to any of the company’s 3,200 stores across the United States. In late January, Judge Jim D. Spears, circuit judge for the Ark. Circuit Court, 12th Judicial Circuit, granted Wal-Mart’s motion for an order restraining UFCW organizers from entering stores to distribute union literature and solicit employees. In his March 15 final order and accompanying decision memorandum, the judge makes permanent his injunction. UFCW is appealing to the ruling. Spears’ ruling cites Arkansas state criminal and civil trespass law as the basis of his decision. The Mar. 15 ruling grows out of a UFCW organizing “blitz” in Sept. 2001 during which union organizers entered around 100 stores in Arkansas and other states over a few days to solicit employees to join the union.  [BNA 3/20/02]

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