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Seles wins with favorite rackets, Houston police told to support Teamsters

August 7, 1997

Strike’s effects on UPS customers:

In Louisville, Ky., striking workers followed United Parcel Service trucks around town, stopping to picket at each delivery and critiquing the driving of managers, who have taken over some routes.

``Did you hear a horn?″ said Jim Hicks, a UPS driver for more than 29 years, as a truck backed into Saturn Distributing.

``No, I did not,″ said Roy Brown, another UPS driver.

Both men said the driver committed a company violation by failing to sound the horn.

Despite the mobile pickets, customers were just glad they received any packages.

``We’re happy to see them,″ said Jeffrey White at Cameron & Barkley Co., as a UPS management employee dropped off his packages. ``Whether it’s union or management doesn’t matter to us.″


Members of the Houston Police Patrolmen’s Union were told to support the Teamsters by using any excuse to pull over UPS trucks driven by nonunion drivers and issue citations.

``We as union members should go into a zero tolerance mode, and do everything possible to get that UPS scab truck off the road,″ president Terry Martin wrote in a letter Wednesday to the union’s 1,100 members.

There were no immediate reports that his suggestion was being followed.

Martin defended his memo, telling the Houston Chronicle there is nothing illegal or improper about telling Houston officers to use their police power in such a way.

``We operate under our own policies, and we support our union brothers and sisters, and they need our help,″ Martin said.

Martin said many of the replacement drivers apparently don’t have the proper commercial license to operate the trucks.

Martin said in the letter that if the police union helps the Teamsters, the officers could count on support from the Teamsters during the officers’ next negotiations with the city.

Police Chief Clarence Bradford had no immediate comment, a Houston police spokesman said.


Erin Tapken owns Alter Ego, a comic book and novelty store in Marion, Iowa. Without UPS delivery, she had to drive 240 miles to Chicago to pick up boxes of comic books from Diamond Comic Distributors.

The new comics were supposed to arrive Wednesday, and Tapken said she had to turn away dozens of regular customers who come in each week to check out what’s new.

She left Wednesday night, planned on picking up her shipment at 6 a.m. to and had to be back this afternoon before her husband, who was watching the store, had to be at work.

``Seventy dollars for the hotel, plus gas,″ she said, figuring the cost of the four-hour trip. ``Who knows what it’s going to cost us in lost business.″


Monica Seles was almost aced by the UPS strike.

The tennis star showed up for a match in Manhattan Beach, Calif., Wednesday without her favorite rackets. She couldn’t use UPS to ship them because of the strike, and when her rackets finally showed up, the hotel misplaced them.

``I was in a total panic,″ said Seles.

The third-ranked women’s player in the world, playing with a loosely strung racket she reserves for practice, lost the first set to Sandrine Testud in the Acura Classic.

But after her agent delivered the rackets with the high-tension strings she prefers, Seles won the next two sets to post a second-round victory.


The University of Tennessee has 67,000 football tickets it planned to ship via UPS and the strike has left fans frantic the tickets won’t arrive in time for the Volunteers’ Aug. 30 home opener.

University officials are considering alternative delivery methods, such as the Postal Service.

``It’s getting fairly close, and they still haven’t gotten them,″ said athletic department spokesman Haywood Harris. ``It’s causing a problem right now.″

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