Wednesday, March 10, 1999

Young Laundry sues
union for $500,000



Young Laundry & Drycleaning and its President Michael Drace are seeking at least $500,000 in damages from the union representing its striking workers, claiming Hawaii Teamsters Local 996 has disseminated fraudulent and defamatory information to the public and the federal government.

The suit filed yesterday in federal court charges that actions by Teamsters leaders since the strike began Oct. 8 violate the federal Hobbs Act and Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act as well as mail fraud statutes.

The suit came four days after a union decertification election conducted by the National Labor Relations Board at the company's Auiki Street plant.

The union claimed victory, with 54 of the 78 votes that were counted.

But the union challenged 104 ballots cast by workers hired to replace those on strike and the labor board will hold a hearing on the matter.

Local 996 President Mel Kahele couldn't be reached for comment. After the Friday vote, he called for the company to return to the bargaining table.

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