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Teamsters tighten picket procedures to ‘look like Boy Scouts’

August 11, 1997

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) _ As the United Parcel Service strike wears on, union leaders here gave workers a long list of instructions intended to keep picketing orderly.

``If you follow this, we’ll look like Boy Scouts _ altar boys, even,″ said Ron Cordy, a UPS driver for 32 years.

Teamsters Local 89, which represents nearly 7,000 Louisville UPS employees, held two meetings Sunday to outline the list.

One sample instruction: Show up at the local hall and get bused to picket sites rather than jump the curb across from UPS gates and leave a mishmash of vehicles parked there.

``We’re trying to make it look a little more professional,″ Cordy said.

Enthusiasm runs high early in a strike and people show up for picket duty voluntarily, often in numbers greater than leaders can use. But as the long haul begins, pickets begin showing up only for assigned picket duty, late or not at all.

And since this strike is beginning to look like a long one, Cordy said, the union wants to get order installed early.

Teamsters President Ron Carey and UPS chairman James Kelly indicated Sunday that no end was in sight as the strike enters its second week. The work stoppage involves 185,000 Teamsters across the country and has all but disabled the company that hauls 83 percent of America’s small packages.

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