IBT Intends to Use Electronic Voting on ABF and UPS Contracts

Teamsters for a Democratic Union (TDU) has learned that the IBT has retained a balloting firm to use electronic voting for the ABF, UPS, and UPS Freight contracts.

e-Voting_thumb.jpgTDU is presently investigating the privacy, security and legal issues involved in this plan, which is well under-way toward implementation. The ABF contract voting could begin in just 3-4 weeks.

The IBT claims it will lead to higher participation. Perhaps. But a clear majority of members voted in the mail ballot on each of the last contracts for ABF, UPS Freight, and UPS. And it was secure, with independent observers at the count.

TDU sued in federal court and in 2003 won the right to have members observe the vote count in national contracts, which were always done by paper ballot. Since then, TDU and concerned locals have designated rank and file observers to the vote counts, and watched the count for each local union.

How Electronic Voting Would Work

Instead of paper ballots to vote Yes or No on contract ratification, each member would be mailed a packet of ballot information, which includes a private access number provided by the company – BallotPoint.  

The member would use their unique access code to vote. Voting can be done with a computer, smartphone, tablet or by telephone. You would be able to check online, using your own access code, to ensure that your vote was recorded. But you would not see whether the vote was Yes or No. That information is secret.

No one will have access to how a member voted, or be able to know the running tally. The tally is not revealed until the end count on the contract.

In the case of UPS, there will also be votes on each supplement and rider. Every UPS member will cast two or three votes (three if there is a local rider). The vote count will be tabulated by local union.

Issues and Concerns

Electronic voting may increase turnout. This system is used in some union elections and contract votes. Many airline workers are familiar with electronic voting.

But many members are used to voting by mail. Will they have full confidence to participate, including those who plan to vote contrary to the recommendation of the Hoffa administration?  Members’ concerns about encryption, security, and a fair vote need to be addressed.

Another major issue: will the Hoffa administration allow independent observers--and will BallotPoint insist that they do?

In September 2017 a large union officer election supervised by BallotPoint was overturned when the Labor Department sued, and won, in federal court. An important issue was that the union did not allow opposition observers to have access. (Union officer elections are covered by a different law from contract votes.)

Teamsters have a right, guaranteed in Article X of the IBT Constitution, to vote by secret ballot on all contract (and contract supplement) votes. This right must be defended and protected.

Make Your Voice Heard

Teamsters who are concerned about their contracts need to make their voices heard.

Teamsters United is bringing members together to oppose givebacks, win fair contracts and make their voices heard.

Sign up for updates and get involved with ABF Teamsters United.

Sign up for updates and get involved with UPS Teamsters United.

Sign up for updates and get involved with UPS Freight Teamsters United.

Showing 12 reactions

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  • Victoria Jerring
    commented 2018-12-15 17:10:59 -0500
    I don’t see whats so wrong with electronic voting. Especially in 2018 where everyone has a phone, even voting in all other sectors including government can allow young people an easy means to vote. I guess there is a chance for corruption, but this goes for traditional ballot voting, too, and with electronic voting we can use computers to regulate and confirm every single vote, making sure each vote is from a real phone user with ID verification. The future of voting will be crazy is all I have to say! Computer companies like https://www.computerrepairnerds.com/ might be able to produce software to make electronic voting secure and unhackable. You cover a lot more in your article and I thank you for taking the time to post this for us!

    Sincerely, Victoria J
  • David Thayer Sr.
    commented 2018-08-12 20:00:44 -0400
    These electronic counts can be manipulated,I would not trust it,if this contract passes then you know it was rigged,no one in their right mind would vote on this stupid contract to pass.
  • Bruce Swearingen
    commented 2018-08-12 13:01:00 -0400
    Will the UPS contract ’ Squeak’ through..with a “HOFFA Determined” count ?
  • David Thayer Sr.
    commented 2018-05-06 16:24:07 -0400
    why wasnt this used for the voting of pension cuts,I dont believe it any thing electronic can be compromised and manipulated,the teamsters I believe are going this because the probably made promises to ups that they would get a contract in thier favor, but know the members will turn it down,and in which case they could change the vote to show members approved the contract.i honestly believe nothing the teamsters do is in the members best interest,all we are to them is a steady cash flow for them to enjoy life with,don’t allow the teamsters to get away this.
  • Bruce Swearingen
    commented 2018-05-06 15:49:03 -0400
    If you believe this electronic vote won’t be compromised & abused..
    I got a book to sell you ’ Perception vs.Reality’ !!
  • Bruce Swearingen
    commented 2018-03-31 14:54:33 -0400
    Hoffa will use this for next general election.so his hand picked successor can hide his decades of fast & furious abuse of members 💰💵
  • David Thayer Sr.
    commented 2018-03-31 02:44:25 -0400
    dont allow hoffa to do this,its been proven that this way of voting can be manipulated,just as it has been in presidential elections.which is why hoffa wants to do this ,so he can change the outcome.he knows the rank and files will not fall for his bullshit contract talks anymore.
  • Mike Heath
    commented 2018-03-30 16:48:54 -0400
    A lot of the older drivers don’t know how to access the internet on their phones, and are therefore less likely to vote.
  • Mark Rauer
    commented 2018-03-30 16:33:00 -0400
    HELL NO!
  • Scott Maine
    commented 2018-03-30 16:29:08 -0400
    no way can’t spring this on us at the last minute and expect us to accept
  • Leonard Christian
    commented 2018-03-30 16:24:25 -0400
    Oh hell no this is bull crap
  • Bruce Swearingen
    commented 2018-03-30 15:42:36 -0400
    Blind trust for a corporate count..really REALLY
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