Teamsters come out against EchoStar deal


The International Brotherhood of Teamsters is the latest group to oppose EchoStar Communications Corp.'s proposed $26 billion purchase of Hughes Electronics Corp. and its
satellite-TV subsidiary, DirecTV Inc..

"We ask for your help in opposing
this deal that would grant a DBS [direct-broadcast satellite] monopoly to a corporation with a
deplorable track record of customer and labor relations," Teamsters president James
Hoffa wrote in a scathing letter to some of the leaders of the House
and Senate Commerce and Judiciary Committees.

"EchoStar has made no secret of its militant anti-union stance, and it has refused
to bargain in good faith with its union employees," the letter added. "Instead, EchoStar has
resorted to a pattern of threats and dismissals in an attempt to intimidate
workers from a number of unions."

The Teamsters plan to send similar letters to Attorney
General John Ashcroft and Federal Communications Commission chairman Michael Powell, a
spokesman said.