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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

Panel to decide if laws were broken in union campaign

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 Overnite.

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 reversal.

"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.

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