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UPS Driver Sues Teamsters

September 2, 1999

MIAMI (AP) _ A United Parcel Service driver who was beaten and stabbed by Teamsters because he worked during a 1997 strike is suing the union and 10 officials.

The suit, filed Wednesday in Broward County on behalf of Roderick and Earthly Carter, names the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 769, and 10 officials, including then-president Anthony Cannestro, Sr. The suit seeks unspecified damages.

Roderick Carter, a former Miami Hurricanes linebacker, was pulled from his UPS truck and attacked on Aug. 7, 1997, during a two-week national strike. Six striking UPS workers participated in the beating, and one, Benigno Rojas, stabbed Carter six times with an ice pick.

Carter was unable to work for nearly two months after the attack. The union bailed out the attackers, all of whom were convicted in criminal court. Rojas served time in jail for aggravated assault.

``To this day, Mr. Carter is not comfortable at work, he doesn’t feel safe at home, and he constantly is concerned for his two young daughters and his wife,″ said Joseph Hillock, spokesman for the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, which filed the suit.

According to the complaint, the day before the attack Carter told a television reporter he wasn’t striking because he needed to support his family. That evening, the Carters received several hang-up calls and one threatening call, all of which were traced to Cannestro’s home.

The suit charges Cannestro and union officials Rolando Pina and Joshua Zivalich with civil conspiracy for allegedly condoning the attack. The suit also names Anthony Cannestro Jr., Rojas and the others involved in the attack: Marcelo Rodriguez, Orestes Espinosa, Angel Mielgo, Werner Haechler and Adrian Paez,

Stanton Orr, labor counsel for Local 769, declined comment because he had not seen the complaint.

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