Teamsters to monitor UPS purchase of Overnite

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The Teamsters union will monitor the purchase of Overnite by UPS closely to ensure no members’ jobs are hurt, union President James Hoffa said in a statement.

The $1.25 billion deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 2005.

UPS is the single largest employer in the Teamsters union, but Overnite is non-union and was the target of an unsuccessful three-year Teamsters strike that ended in October 2002.

Hoffa said the union’s understanding is that Overnite will be run as an entity separate from the UPS package delivery operations and that no Teamster jobs will be affected.

“We are hopeful that UPS’ long history as a company with Teamster representation will create new opportunities for Overnite workers to achieve their goals in the workplace,” Hoffa said.

The Teamsters action against Overnite originated in October 1999, when 26 of the 171 Overnite centers voted to have the Teamsters represent them in contract negotiations. When talks were unsuccessful, the workers staged a walkout.

The strike ended three years later, when the employees returned to work with no concessions being given by the company, said Ira Rosenfeld, Overnite director of corporate communications.

“Subsequently, over the next two months the employees at those 26 centers all voted to de-certify the Teamsters as a bargaining agent,” Rosenfeld said. “Ever since then, there have been no Teamsters” at Overnite, he said.