DHL: The Race to the Bottom

March 20, 2008: Our Union needs to be constantly on guard to protect what Teamsters have fought for decades to win. First and foremost, we need to protect good Teamster jobs, maintain our contracts, and look toward the future.

The proposed DHL deal fails the test, because over time it would allow DHL management to convert the operation into a majority of low-wage part-timers.

  • It means you will lose thousands of dollars in overtime work.
  • It means all growth of the company will go to low-wage dead-end jobs, not good Teamster jobs.
  • It means our union will be weaker.

No Limit on Part-timers

There is no limit or ratio (such as 1:5) in the P&D supplement on the use of part-timers. If this deal is approved, DHL will move to convert close to 100 percent of sorting, loading and unloading to low-wage, part-time labor.

This is worse than the UPS agreement, in which there is a guarantee of 20,000 full-time sorting and loading jobs. This deal has no such limit.

There is a 15 percent limit on part-time drivers. The International Union claims this is better than the UPS contract. But the fact of the matter is, find any UPS building with 200 full-time drivers, and you will not find 30 (15 percent) part-time drivers! This could be worse than UPS.

What's the Future?

With all the managerial problems the company has right now, it's easy to forget a big fact: DHL aims to grow, and must grow to succeed. A "red circle by name" will constantly shrink as Teamsters quit or retire, coupled with constant growth in the part-time force. That's a recipe for a weaker future.

What happens as the number of high-turnover part-timers grows? Who will vote in the next contract to defend your job, wages, benefits and conditions if the majority has no benefits, McWages, and a three-hour guarantee? Where will our Teamster power be then?

As DHL "interprets" the contract as they see fit, what's our protection? A grievance procedure that's being gutted—and we are being asked to give up the right to strike.

Where are the Protections?

If we are asked in this first offer to give such huge concessions, what do we get in return? Damn little.

There is no ratio limit on part-timers (such as 1:5).

There is only a “red circle by name” (not number) for our jobs.

There is no solid guarantee against full-time layoffs, while part-timers are being hired. (And then, you will be offered to work two part-time shifts: split up.)

We would have all the worst of the UPS contract, but with wages $7 per hour lower than UPS workers and the loss of our overtime work.

We Can Win Protections—Vote No

We can win reasonable protections to safeguard our future at DHL. A No Vote can put them on the bargaining table.

Help spread the word. Click here to download a leaflet you can post and distribute to other DHL Teamsters.

Stay in the loop. Click here to sign up for email updates from TDU’s DHL Network.

DHL Teamsters and TDU

How and why have DHL Teamsters gotten involved with Teamsters for a Democratic Union? Click here for the answers.


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