Newspaper: The Evening Sentinel

Date: April 3, 1979

Title: Truckers Exempt Danger Area

Author: Kathy Liebler, The Evening Sentinel


MECHANICSBURG-Striking teamsters say they won't interfere with trucking to and from Three Mile Island.

Paul Fritz, vice president of Teamsters Local 776, said today "anything that has to be shipped with regard to the Three Mile Island emergency will be shipped."

"There will be no interference of materials trucked to and from the crippled Three Mile Island nuclear reactor site."

In a related incident, Fritz said about 75 trucks were being moved from the Arkansas Best Freight Truck Terminal, Derry Street, Harrisburg.

He said Teamsters International has permitted the trucks to be moved to the Letterkenney Army Depot in Chambersburg since the Harrisburg terminal falls within a 10-mile radius of Three Mile Island.

"WE DIDN'T want to take any chances of contamination to the miscellaneous freight stored in the trucks, so striking drivers have been allowed to move the vehicles," said Fritz.

However, he said, the strike is still in effect nationwide and for about 1,300 area drivers, packers, delivery men and yard switchmen.

About 900 employees are not working because of a lockout called by trucking firms that were not included on the Teamsters' selective strike list.

Hall's Motor Co., located on Route 11, Mechanicsburg, is one local firm that is locking out union employees.

Company officials refused to comment but Fritz said more than 500 Hall's employees were out of work because of the company's action.

He said the Mechanicsburg terminal is Hall's main shop and is a transfer point for about 800 trailers and 350 tractors.

FRITZ CRITICIZED the lockout, saying, "the teamsters worked for a year to plan the selective strike so the economy would not suffer."

"The lockout shows complete disregard for the United States," he said. "The strike was planned in such a way that every point in the country would still have service."

"Now because of the lockout, no one has common carriers."

Fritz said orderly picketing continues at 12 striking sites in the area and he said no incidents have been reported by companies engaged in the lockout.

Teamsters are protesting an industry contract that reportedly calls for a 30-percent wage benefit increase over three years.

Effects on local deliveries still are unknown, but Wayne Powell, Editor-Publisher of The Evening Sentinel, said today the newspaper has less than a 30-day supply of newsprint. Since the newsprint is delivered by truck, Powell said he was concerned over the longrange impact of the shutdown. He said The Sentinel would seek other methods of delivery to insure its newsprint supply.