UPS employees to decide on company strike

WHAS 11
June 11, 2013

Some UPS workers claim they're being bullied and harassed by managers to vote yes for a new union contract. They have 12 days left.

UPS workers are upset and have alarming words for what they say is taking place at UPS Worldport in Louisville, the largest employer in Kentucky.

Stephen Piercey, UPS worker, said: "I've never seen the kind of underhanded, despicable actions they've committed in the last couple weeks."

An anonymous UPS worker said: "Everything that's been going on at work. There's been a whole lot of tension in the area with management talking to everybody."

Piercey and an unnamed UPS worker tell me they're feeling unfair pressure to vote yes on a proposed contract.

There's a looming June 22 deadline by mail that impacts 8,800 part-time and full-time employees.

"It's gotten really ugly," UPS worker, Chasity Tooley said.

WHAS 11 obtained a copy of a letter written by the UPS Vice President of Louisville Air and Freight Operations. It was sent to Metropolitan College parents, urging their children to vote in favor of the ratification.

"We are advocating for the contract. Are we pressuring anyone? No. We are simply informing them of the contract so they can make an informed decision," UPS spokesman, Mike Mangeot said.

According to UPS, wages for part-time workers will jump up to $1.50 per year and full-time employees to $1.00. It also includes a $1,000 Worldport shuttle incentive payable to all workers.

No health insurance premiums have to be paid and out-of-pocket expenses will be capped at $1,000 per person. But Teamsters Local 89 says it's not a good deal.

Fred Zuckerman, Teamsters Local 89 President, says not even Louisville employees at Ford felt this type of pressure when the UAW Local 862 passed their ratification by a 53% vote in October 2011.

"It's pretty sleazy tactics is what they're doing. The members are very smart. The treat them like they're stupid," he said.

There has to be a simple majority vote to pass, meaning at least 51%.

Could there be a strike? No official word yet from union leaders but according to their current contract, a picket line can't happen until after July 1, 2013 - if at all.

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