More news on the 4th Circuit Decision to Rehear the NLRB massive ruling
against Overnite. Oral arguments before the full 4th Circuit will occur in
the week of September 24, 2001. The Court should issue a decision within
six to eight months after that.
THE KANSAS CITY STAR
July 17, 2001
COURT TO REHEAR TEAMSTERS CASE;
Panel to decide if laws were broken in union campaign
By RANDOLPH HEASTER
A key legal victory by the Teamsters union in its fight to organize Overnite
Transportation Co. has been taken away - at least for now.
The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last week granted Overnite a rehearing
before the full appeals court on whether the company violated labor laws
during the Teamsters' organizing campaign.
The rehearing was ordered after a three-judge panel of the appeals court in
February backed the order of the National Labor Relations Board against
In the case, the NLRB ruled that Overnite owed back wages of about $11
million to 1,100 workers at 11 terminals around the country, including one
in Kansas City, Kan. In addition, the NLRB ordered Overnite to recognize the
union at four other terminals, ruling that a pay raise given at those
terminals before a union vote sullied the results.
Both sides agreed that the rehearing before all nine judges of the appeals
court was unusual. In most cases, the next step for Overnite would have been
to appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.
"We're delighted the full court will take a look at the case," said Ira
Rosenfeld, an Overnite spokesman at its Richmond, Va., headquarters. "Now we
get a chance to take our case before all of the judges."
Phil Young, national freight director of the Teamsters union and president
of Local 41 in Kansas City, said he was unhappy and surprised by the
"Our feeling is we're disappointed and don't understand why it would be
reversed," he said. "But we're not surprised that Overnite would try
anything to prolong this process. We feel confident that they'll eventually
be brought to justice."
Meanwhile, a group of shareholders, including three Teamsters members, filed
a lawsuit against Overnite last month, contending that the company's
anti-union efforts had reduced its value by $900 million.
The company said the suit was without merit and maintained that the
Teamsters strike no longer was hurting the trucking company financially. The
system-wide strike began in October 1999, and Rosenfeld said about 420
workers were still honoring the picket line.
Overnite and the Teamsters are scheduled to continue contract negotiations
today and Wednesday in Washington.