UPS Contract: What Now?

Updated June 26, 2013: The UPS national contract has narrowly passed but Ken Hall and UPS will be returning to the bargaining table because at least 18 supplements and riders have been rejected, the biggest number in Teamster history.

What's next for UPS Teamsters, our contract and the healthcare cuts?

The UPS national contract passed narrowly, with a 53% Yes vote likely when the final ballots are counted. But it has been rejected in 18 supplements and riders. The latest to be rejected was the Local 135 Indiana Rider, when the final local union was counted today. That increased the margin of rejection of the largest supplement – the Central Region.

The contract passed because of Yes majorities in the Southern Region, the Atlantic Supplement and New England. In those three areas Yes votes had a 11,941 vote majority. In the rest of the country, No votes will end up with a strong majority, rejecting the contract by about 8,000 votes.

In the three "Yes" areas, no full-time Teamsters are affected by the health benefit cuts, and that is a big factor in the difference.

The second difference from local to local, is where TDU activists and other Teamsters networked, leafleted, talked to their co-workers, and got involved. In a few key locals, including Local 89, local officers also opposed the contract. Where Teamsters got active, the contract was rejected by a bigger margin and voter turnout tended to be higher.

What Now?

The contract passed with the lowest majority in the history of UPS contracts and with an unprecedented rejection in so many supplements and riders, including the Central and Western Region supplements.

The national contract cannot be signed at this point, because re-negotiation and re-vote is required for each of the rejected supplements and riders. Legally, the contract is one integrated agreement, not separate national and regional contracts. This legal principle has long been recognized by both UPS and the union.

Under the Teamster Constitution, the national leadership (Hoffa-Hall) must work with all the supplemental committees to get an agreement acceptable to members. That is not going to be easy, especially in areas where they have been overwhelmingly rejected.

A large majority of UPS Teamsters will be voting again. And maybe more than once. If a supplement or rider is rejected a third time, that will be a strike vote. UPS does not want to get to that step, giving us bargaining power, if we use it.

The IBT needs to do more than re-vote the contracts with a new sales pitch. The International Union needs to get behind the members and address the reasons why members voted no.

Supplemental issues need to be addressed, as does a major issue in the national agreement. The members have said loud and clear: reverse the health benefit cuts!

Hall and UPS can make that happen. Even if they stick with the move to the Central States Fund, the IBT and UPS can bargain more healthcare money in the national contract to guarantee no reduction in members’ current benefits.

Reversing the healthcare cuts is an achievable demand. It will not address all of the problems that caused the national contract to be voted down, except in the South, New England and the Atlantic Region. It also won't address the problems that led to the biggest supplement rejections in Teamsters' history. But it will be an important start.

UPS Teamsters rejected a record number of supplements and riders in the contract vote—and have sent Ken Hall and UPS back to the bargaining table. To reverse the healthcare cuts and win contract improvements will take membership involvement and national coordination.

TDU and the Make UPS Deliver network will be providing information, producing bulletins and taking nationally coordinated action to demand that the International Union and UPS reverse the healthcare cuts and improve the contract.

Contact TDU to find out how you can get involved. Teamster members are stronger when we work together.

Click here for a more detailed report on the voting results and a local-by-local chart of the results.

Issues: 

Comments

Some of the things that definitely need to be re-addressed is the healthcare issue, wages and the four year progression.

Healthcare is huge and I will continue to vote against the Central Region Supplement and encourage others to do the same until it is properly addressed.

Thanks TDU

Agree healthcare,wages,progression all need to be negotiated.ken hall did not negotiate these issues he caved into the company.we deserve a fair contract and the international shouldgo back and restore our benefits.after allups made 4.3 billion profit

Would it be possible to fight so that the whole voting process is completed once again.  The reason I say this is because there were way too many "mistakes" not only misprinted envelopes, but for example in the San Diego Building in CA over 25 members did not receive thier ballots. 50% and 54% is too slim--I belive that if the Union would have been honest with its members this National agreement would have not passsed. 

we should demand a revote. with the ballot "mixup", people not receiving ballots, and misleading or outright lies by the international, locals, and UPS, there is no way it could have passed if there was a revote. Please do not let them get away with this!

I certainly hope the union doesn't forget the ones swinging in the wind right now, the retired UPS'ers still on the company insurance plan.  as it stands right now, we are looking at a huge increase Aug 1st promised in the letter we received from the company back in December.

I think it's important that all the "go no" folks realize what they are saying. "We, the no vote crowd, are fully prepared to hold the yes vote crowd hostage because we are too good for the insurance plan they have been on for years."

I am stunned on how low the voter turnout has been.  We need to make sure more teamsters vote.  I hope seeing all of the rejected contracts will get more teamsters to understand how important their vote actually is. 


Page - 43 - of the contract reads...   Memorandum of Understanding     United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS) and the Teamsters UPS National Negotiating Committee (Union) provide the following in order to detail the benefits available through Central States Health & Welfare plan. Nothing within this Memorandumof Understanding shall affect the Central States Health & Welfare Trustee’s right to modify benefit levels.   ...does that mean that our benefits can be changed after the contract is signed?  The language confuses me.  Why would we agree to something that can be changed?

Every 35 year Teamster retiree, regardless of age, part time or full time should receive retiree health benefits at no cost and at least $3,500 per month pension. Why should part timers that started in the 70s be penalized when they could not get a full time job? We also need to renegotiate the starting wage for part timers at $15 an hour and good health benefits and I do not mean Teamcare. Keep the same healthcare that we have now. Hall was adament about getting a $15 an hour starting wage and settled for 10 and the local leaders overwhelmingly  endorse this contract. Please tell me whose best interest they are looking out for, it sounds like them and UPS, not the workers who make UPS billions and billions of dollars. If UPS company officials want to be assholes.....................VOTE NO AGAIN AND STRIKE

This article only mentions "three yes" areas of the Atlantic Area, Southern Area and New England areas.  Looking at the vote totals on this website actually shows that Northern California and the Northwest areas also came through with big yes votes.