June 22, 2001
UP Sued Over Operation of Overnite
Union Pacific Corp. (UNP) management is being sued by 10 shareholders who
claim that anti-union efforts at Overnite Transportation Co. caused the
trucking unit's value to fall about $900 million, news services reported.
The lawsuit, whose plaintiffs include Overnite workers, names Union Pacific
Chief Executive Dick Davidson, board members, current managers and former
executives such as retired Chairman Drew Lewis. At least three of those
suing are Teamsters, whose union began a strike against Overnite in October
1999, said company spokesman Robert Turner.
The suit, filed Memphis, Tenn., in chancery court, claims pervasive
anti-union animus by Davidson, Lewis and others resulted in high employee
turnover and worker unrest.
UP bought the regional less-than-truckload carrier in 1987 for $1.2 billion
and refused a $300 million offer from an unidentified buyer for the unit
last year, the suit said. The union began an organizing campaign at
Richmond, Va.-based Overnite in the mid-1990s. The two sides have not
reached an initial contract, though talks have continued since the strike
However, Turner said that the suit is without merit and it is part of the
Teamsters' corporate campaign against Union Pacific.
The suit seeks an injunction to stop alleged violations of the National
Labor Relations Act, as well as unspecified monetary damages.