IBT's Contract Ballot Screw-ups Undermine our Union

June 18, 2013: The vote counts on the UPS, UPS Freight and ABF contracts have been screwed up in too many ways to count.

When our contracts are being voted on, Teamster members deserve a ballot process they can have confidence in. If you work for 25 or 30 years, you may only get to vote on about five contracts, determining your benefits, wages and working conditions.

Consider just a few examples:

  • Many thousands of UPS Teamsters received the wrong ballot return envelopes, directing their ballot to the UPS Freight vote count post office box. These ballots now have to be sorted and re-directed at the count.
  • The International Union sent so many wrong ballots to the 10,000 UPS Teamsters of Louisville Local 89 that the IBT had to mail out a second ballot. Members who voted with the first ballots had to revote. Local 89 ballots are due by Saturday, June 22 as a result.
  • The members of Indianapolis Local 135 also received the wrong ballot materials, with incorrect information about their benefit plan. A second ballot was mailed, and is now due on June 26.
  • Every ABF Teamster was sent incorrect ballot instructions which say that a No vote is a vote to accept the agreement!
  • Numerous ABF, UPS and UPS Freight Teamsters have received postcards and mailers urging them to vote yes… for the wrong contract.

Worst of all, many Teamsters were denied their right to vote altogether because they never got a ballot—even after they promptly notified their local.

In Orange County Local 952, the situation is so bad that even the stewards did not get a ballot! The local union claims that they are all coded as "inactive" by the International. Early requests for replacement ballots has yielded no results.

The IBT could have addressed this widespread problem by simply extending all voting by a week, as was done for Local 135 already. The vote count could have gone forward as planned with a supplementary vote count next week. Instead, thousands of Teamsters will be disenfranchised.

The International Union's keystone cop routine undermines members' confidence—not just in the IBT leadership but in the Teamster democratic process. That's bad for our union no matter how you're voting on the contract.

Teamsters for a Democratic Union will be there to observe the vote count. TDU members have won critical contract voting rights. The voting process on the contracts this year shows more remains to be done.

Rights & Resources: 


I am so tired of the inattentiveness of the IBT. They do not seem to care about our well-being. Only what they can hang on to for themselves. I'll bet if we held our dues back. They would stand up for us instead watching out for these lying company executives who think that we should be underpaid and over worked just as most of the non union employees. Well I for one have had enough. If we don't stand together and fight off this kind of oppressive action we will be done with these kind of jobs and there is nothing we will do to bring them back.

The next IBT election results need to show the animosity we are all feeling about the Hall/Hoffa attempted dishonest manipulation of our futures and the part time employees being thrown under the bus. We expected the company to want concessions, even with record profits, but to be ripped off by the people we pay hundreds of millions in dues to annually is a call to action to all of us.

Local 135 has another screwup on their hands.   First, they mailed a simple yes no ballot with no internal envelope and no identifying info to verify that votes are received from valid voters.  Reports of employees that quit months prior receiving ballots while current employees are reporting no mailings or the actual ballot missing from their packets.   And to make matters worse, Local representatives are telling some members that they will under no circumstance receive replacement ballots while others are being told to wait another week (closer and closer to deadline) and they'll be sent another ballot.  Some are being told that theirs was sent to an old address because the union didn't have an updated address even though international conveniently mails pamplets to the updated address (if international has it, why doesn't the local)?   And emails to Local, President, BA, etc. aren't being returned.  Oh, and they failed to communicate that they hired a new BA for months until members noticed that the TA was signed by a new BA.

The Teamsters union Local 135 for Republic Flight Attendants should be ousted. There voting was horrible and it took Five Calls to the local for me and many other FA's to receive a replacement ballet! Horrible we need AFA now!!