The agreement was signed by all parties.
GH Singh & Sons, our lawyer, three drivers of our company, the Teamster reps and their lawyer were involved in the process. In a nutshell, the whole case was about why the one driver was not working.
Mr. Ladner was the mediator and negotiator for this matter. After hearing all the testimonies and looking at the facts, he said, “My assistant and I will give you a written decision within three weeks.”
Meanwhile, during this whole time, Mindy and I were still working. Mindy couldn’t come to any of these meetings as the company had to carry on. After a couple of weeks, we were notified by registered mail to come to a meeting at the same office at Broadway and Fir. I personally didn’t want to go, after going through what I had, but this was about my life and my father’s company.
During the meeting, Mr. Ladner’s assistant read the decision; the reps of GH Singh & Sons Trucking had done no wrong. We all exchanged thanks with our lawyers for resolving this issue.
Within a week, I got a phone call and a letter from Teamsters as our time was nearing to renew our certification. I was given a date. Mom, Shorty, Mindy and I were again called to the Teamster Office. After talking to my lawyer, we arranged to meet the Teamsters at the Broadway and Fir office. My surprise was that the Teamsters knew we had a short period of time for renewing our certification. The Teamster offer was as follows: they wanted us to pay for their costs, $5,000 for lawyer fees, $1,000 for the hall rental and $15,000 for three drivers ($5,000 each). They also threatened us by saying that if we delay our decision, our renewal date would pass and we would be uncertified.
After hearing their offer, I said, “Let’s have lunch. I’ll discuss the matter with my lawyer and let you know.” I explained to my lawyer about what had happened and he agreed to come to the meeting. The reps from all sides were now at the meeting. My lawyer began by saying, “Mr. Ladner has already sent his decision that there are no charges or costs against the Singh Company. Now you put this new proposal in front of us. It’s ridiculous.” The Teamsters said, “You pay us the costs and we’ll renew your certification.” I looked at my Mom to see what she wanted. Mother turned towards Shorty to ask him. Shorty told Mom, “We’ll sue the union for 5 million dollars – Two million for the company, one million for Mindy, one million for me (Shorty), and one million for Mom.”
Oh really! My answer to him was, “You’re not in the driver’s seat to sue anyone.” We asked for a break and had coffee in the restaurant. My lawyer said, “Sabik, what do you want?” I told him to ask my mom. She looked at Shorty one once again. He said, “Sue.” Deep down, I was hurt, very badly, that my mother didn’t value my opinion at all. When asked again if he really wanted to sue, Shorty still gave the same answer. I thought for a while and said to my lawyer, “What do you think?” His asked me,”Sabik, I want to hear from you what you want.” I said, “I have put too many years into this company and, with my Dad, have built reputation and respect.” But I was hurt so deep, full of shame and humiliation, that I wanted to cry. I was all alone.
I asked my Mom what she really wanted. Her reply was the same as Shorty’s – sue the Union Teamsters for five million. Again, I looked at our lawyer and asked, “How does it really look? Do we have a chance to sue?” He replied, “Give the union a cheque for $21,000 and get your certification. Just finish this instead of taking it further.” My reply was, “No. We’re not giving them a cent.” I told our lawyer to tell the Teamsters that we will let them know of our decision in a couple of days.
I instructed our lawyer to send a letter to Mr. Ladner, in Kamloops, and inform him that the Union was not agreeing to the terms of the settlement. A few days later, we received a reply from Mr. Ladner, which was again in our favour. He instructed the Teamsters to follow through with his decision or he would see them in court. Furthermore, Mr. Ladner told the Teamsters to renew GH Singh & Sons Trucking Ltd.’s certificate immediately. That was in 1978 and even now, the Singh Company still has its certification.
It was arranged that my Mom and our lawyer would go to the Union Office and sign all documents of certification. Unexpectedly, I received a phone call from one of the drivers, who said to me, “Sabik, remember we were asking $5,000 for each driver? Well, we decided that if you give us half, we will settle.” I replied, “That offer is not available and not possible. Like really – you think this is possible? Sorry. All that is now history. See you Monday for work. Bye.” That was the end of that whole ordeal and I tried to put all this behind me and get back to work.
My Lonely Early Thoughts-V…..I replied, “That offer is not available and not possible, sorry, all that is now history. See you Monday for work. Bye.”
The agreement was signed by all parties.