Bus Companies Say Teamsters Extorted Them
Glynis Farrell | Courthouse News Service
December 16, 2011
CHICAGO CN – Five school bus companies claim the Teamsters conspired to commit “multiple, repeated and continuous acts or threats involving extortion and/or attempted extortion … in the guise of a labor organizing campaign.”
Cook-Illinois Corp. and four of its subsidiaries sued Teamsters Local 777 and its president, James Glimco. The union local is based in Lyons, a Westside suburb of Chicago.
“Defendants are a labor organization and its president who have conspired among themselves to commit extortionate activities against plaintiffs in the guise of a labor organizing campaign,” according to the federal complaint. “Defendants have also tortuously interfered with and defamed plaintiffs businesses. As a result of defendants wrongful conduct, plaintiffs business has been diverted and its reputation damaged. Defendants conduct must cease immediately, and plaintiffs have brought this action accordingly.”
Plaintiffs Alpha School Bus Co., Richlee Vans, Illinois School Bus and Grand Prairie Transit provide transportation to Northern Illinois school districts. They are subsidiaries of Cook-Illinois Corp.
The plaintiffs say they comply with school district safety specifications and meet minimum wage compensation requirements. They say Local 777 and Glimco have been trying, unsuccessfully, to organize the bus companies employees for five years.
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