Teamsters drive card-check campaign at Overnite

LAS VEGAS (PAI) — Reviving a campaign they suspended several years ago, the Teamsters will try to organize the 15,000 drivers for Overnite Transportation, but with a difference: they will do so via card-check.

The card-check agreement, announced June 27 at the Teamsters convention here, occurred because Overnite is now UPS Freight, a subsidiary of Teamster-unionized United Parcel Service.

As an independent company, Overnite’s rampant labor law-breaking at its terminals nationwide brought National Labor Relations Board and federal court rulings against it, but also frustrated the union’s efforts.

The card-check pact to organize Overnite was the big news at the 7,000-delegate convention held here from June 25-30. Teamster President James Hoffa announced that UPS agreed to start talks on a new contract next year. The current Teamsters-UPS agreement, which expires in 2008, covers more than 200,000 workers at the shipper.

“We are calling this member mobilization and education drive ‘One Company, One Union.’ To make this effort successful, we need all UPS Teamsters and Freight Teamsters who are likely to cross paths with UPS Freight workers to take an active role,” Hoffa wrote. He told those workers to ask their stewards for information cards to give to the Overnite drivers, and to “take a few minutes to tell UPS Freight workers about the benefits of being in the union.”