Hoffa’s Package Division Director Denis Taylor has issued a memorandum to sell Two-Tier Hybrid Drivers to skeptical members.
Taylor still refuses to release the proposed Article 22.4 language, even to local unions. But his memo cherry-picks from the language to craft a sales pitch aimed mostly at Package Car Drivers.
The Hoffa-Taylor Sales Pitch
Taylor’s first sales pitch is that current Package Car drivers will work a Monday to Friday schedule. The proposed deal would give the company 18 to 24 months after contract ratification to transition drivers who are currently on a Tuesday-Saturday schedule to Monday-Friday.
The second pitch is that the current number of Package Car Drivers jobs per building would be protected from replacement by Hybrid Drivers. If a Package Car Driver position goes vacant, it would have to be filled with a new Package Car Driver, not a Hybrid Driver. The number of 22.4 Hybrid Drivers is capped at 25% of the total Package Driver jobs in the building.
The third piece of the sales pitch is that the Hybrid Drivers will reduce excessive overtime by increasing staffing levels during the week.
The last piece of the sales pitch is that Hybrid Drivers will protect our Health & Welfare and Pension Funds by increasing the number of full-time participants.
The Questions Taylor Can’t Answer
Taylor’s sales pitch falls flat and leaves many unanswered questions.
First, Taylor never explains why we would ever allow two-tier in package. Two-tier means lower pay for Teamsters performing the same ground work. It will inevitably lead to management pitting Package Drivers and lower-paid Hybrid Drivers against each other. Why would members vote for that?
Second, if the goal is to protect drivers from excessive overtime, why did Taylor cave in to the company on 9.5? Under Taylor’s deal with UPS, drivers will not automatically be opted-in to 9.5; there are no tougher penalties for 9.5 violations; you still have to grieve every 9.5 violation to get penalty pay; and management does not have to adjust your load to comply with 9.5. The company could have agreed to these proposals if they were serious about addressing unwanted excessive overtime. They didn’t.
Third, what protections have been negotiated to protect drivers who rely on reasonable overtime and can’t afford to lose it to 22.4 Hybrid Drivers? The company plans to divert overtime work to 22.4 Hybrid Drivers who will make $6 to $16 an hour less than top rate for delivering ground. What will stop management from taking away overtime from package drivers who want it? Taylor may have negotiated something, but it’s not in the memo.
Fourth, claiming we need to make givebacks to strengthen our Health & Welfare and Pension Funds is phony. UPS needs to hire more drivers to handle growing volume and deliver on Sundays. We don’t need givebacks and two-tier Hybrid Drivers; we just need more full-time Teamsters. UPS will make $6 billion in profits this year. The company can afford to pay package driver rate when Teamsters deliver ground packages.
Finally, Taylor’s sales pitch hides the screwing that part-timers will get under this deal. Under the current contract, part-timers could go full-time as a 22.3 and not have to deliver ground—or they could go full-time driving and make it to top package rate after four years. Under the Two-Tier Hybrid Driver deal, part-timers get the worst of both worlds. They have to deliver ground, but they get paid a 22.3 rate. That’s a giveback, not a win.
End the Brownout
It’s been a week since Taylor reached a tentative deal with UPS.
Instead of issuing sales pitches, Hoffa and Tylor should release the proposed deal so that members can review the details and make an informed decision before they vote on the contract.