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UPS Newswire


 

UPS: Best First Quarter Ever

April 22, 2006: UPS reports first-quarter after-tax profits of $975million, up 10.5 percent over last year, and revenue of $11.5 billion, up 16.5 percent. U.S.

Local Gives, UPS Takes

You’ve got to give in order to get, at least that’s what some labor leaders say. Local 89 has given UPS a green light to create hundreds more low-paid part-time jobs at the Louisville air facility. The new jobs are part of UPS’ relocation of Menlo/UPS Cartage air operations to Louisville from Dayton.

While the new jobs will be union, as they should be, the agreement does not contain any guarantee that many of the 1,500 positions will be full-time.

The UPS Cartage operation is much more akin to typical freight work with the majority of volume on pallets and handled by fork lift. Through the years the IBT has repeatedly rejected efforts by freight companies to create part-time jobs. Freight members struck in 1994 to stop the “part-timerization” of freight jobs. UPS members struck in 1997 and won the creation of 10,000 full-time jobs at UPS. Local 89 and the IBT appear now to be reversing the trend.

UPS Members Question Early Bargaining

April 22, 2006. Many Teamsters express concern when asked for their reaction to the International Union’s recent statements about early contract talks with UPS.

Broken promises, the benefit cuts, the lack of contract enforcement—these and other concerns are front and center for members.

And if UPS has agreed to the talks, as they most certainly have if the IBT
has floated the idea publicly,what is in it for them? Whatever
else they have up their sleeve, an early contract in 2006 or early 2007 would avoid any potential rancor during UPS’s 100th anniversary in 2007, and would be a major gift to UPS. Member concern may be justified but Teamsters know it won’t bring about change.

We need to be making demands on Hoffa and building pressure for major contract improvements—whether the contract comes around in 2008 or earlier.

Toward that end TDU has asked some veteran UPS Teamsters to speak out on the early contact idea and its ramifications.

Convoy invites you to weigh in on the discussion. Contact tdu [at] tdu.org or call (313) 842-2600 to share your thoughts on early bargaining.

Tentative Agreement in Central Region: Nothing There

After five years of record profits at UPS, Teamsters know they deserve a fair share of the company's success. President Hoffa has repeatedly promised "the best contract in Teamster history.

"So why did Hoffa's negotiating committee settle the Central Region contract supplement, the largest in the UPS contract, without any significant gains and even with some give-backs?!

The union put fifty (50) proposals on the bargaining table in the Central Region, but came back empty handed. These proposals included more sick days (some regions have more than the Central), proposals to deal with excessive overtime, to improve the grievance procedure, and lots more.

Mercury Spill on Ohio Sort Belt Raises Serious Questions

On May 2, when a mercury spill turned up on the main sort belt in the UPS Sharonville Building near Cincinnati, management failed to respond properly. UPS did not secure the area, isolate the spill, inform employees, nor evacuate workers from the spill area. “I always thought the idea was ‘safety first’,” says Local 100 full time steward Sam Bucalo.

Management appeared more concerned about keeping stewards from investigating the situation than about resolving the serious health risk. Both the full time and part time stewards were “taken out of service” the day following the discovery. Management claimed they had everything under control and there was no reason for the stewards to play a role in the situation.

Does UPS Hide Hazardous Accidents?

UPS Teamsters are familiar with the image of managers scurrying to cover logos on UPS trucks to prevent the public and media knowing that a UPS vehicle was involved in an accident.

Could UPS be applying the same secrecy to incidents involving hazardous materials in an effort to skirt federal reporting requirements?

An investigation indicates that UPS in 2004 failed to properly report a number of incidents, including one involving a serious fire:

On June 22, 2004, a mercury spill resulted in the evacuation of 429 workers at the Hunt Valley UPS facility near Baltimore.

New Threats and Opportunities

UPS purchase of nonunion Overnite Transportation for $1.25 billion marks a new era of industry consolidation and poses a grave threat to UPS and freight Teamsters, and to the security of our pensions. But the purchase also presents the best opportunity in a long time for the Teamsters to reassert ourselves as a major force in the transportation industry. We need to seize that opportunity.

The New Trucking Industry

The UPS-Overnite combination is the face of the new trucking industry. The boundaries are blurring between the small parcel, freight, and logistics sectors. The future belongs to integrated transportation companies that are players in all aspects of the market and can offer shippers a variety of options on a one-stop-shopping basis. That’s why FedEx already has successfully integrated a less-than-truckload carrier, American Freight, and built it into a $3 billion a year company—twice as large as Overnite.

Now’s the Time to Organize Overnite


“We are hopeful that UPS long history as a company with Teamster representation will create new opportunities for Overnite workers to achieve their goals in the workplace.”
—James Hoffa, May 16 IBT statement on UPS-Overnite


“The Teamsters will never rest until workplace justice is a reality for our brave brothers and sisters at Overnite.”
—James Hoffa, August 2001 Teamster Magazine

Which is it, Mr. Hoffa: Hoping management will do the right thing, or promising a fight for workplace justice?

How about instead carrying out a plan to make it happen?

Experts agree that UPS needs to integrate a freight company into its operations. At stake is UPS position as the world’s leading transportation company.

Overnite is a $1.65 billion-a-year company. UPS plans to double Overnite’s size to compete with FedEx Freight. UPS has to make this acquisition succeed. This gives our union tremendous leverage, and we’ve got to use it to organize Overnite.

Shippers and stock analysts are closely scrutinizing the UPS-Overnite acquisition. Everyone knows that union representation at Overnite is a major issue. To be successful, we need to turn organizing rights at Overnite from an “issue” into a deal-breaker.


UPS + Overnite = Danger Ahead

UPS today is not the same company many higher seniority Teamsters went to work for: First air freight, then global reach, technology, logistics. The biggest single change is about to happen: UPS’ conversion to a full-service freight carrier.

In the links below, we examine the consequences of this change, and what we can do to turn it to our advantage. If our union fails to take that step, we could pay a big price.

Consider just some of the challenges. Our feeder jobs are endangered, if not right away, in the long run. We need to monitor the cross-over freight, as parcels are bundled onto pallets and moved by Overnite. Will we have a strong, viable strike threat by 2008, without taking positive action now? Not if UPS has a large and growing nonunion trucking operation.

Retaliation Overturned

On October 1, 1998, “UPS told me to get out of here and don’t come back,” relates preloader Paul Stimpson.

The wheels of justice grind slowly, but after seven years the courts have ordered UPS to put Stimpson back to work. The exact details remain to be worked out, but Stimpson will get very considerable back pay.

On May 18, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled, “We find substantial evidence that Stimpson was terminated in retaliation for his grievance activity.” Stimpson won at every step with the NLRB, but UPS delayed his final victory with appeals.

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