May 7, 2013: The International Union made harassment the signature issue of the contract negotiations. Does the tentative agreement deliver on the hype?
Two hot button issues the new contract is supposed to address are unfair discipline based on technology and excessive overtime.
Technology and Discipline
The company's right to fire an employee for "dishonesty" solely based on information from GPS or technology appears largely unchanged.
In cases that do not involve dishonesty, UPS must now "confirm by direct observation or other corroborating evidence" a violation warranting discharge.
But what about cases involving alleged dishonesty? There are only two changes in this language.
"No employee shall be discharged
on a first offense if such discharge is based solely upon information received from GPS or any successor system unless he/she engages in dishonesty (defined for the purposes of this paragraph as any intentional act or omission by an employee where he/she intends to defraud the company."
Dishonesty used to mean "theft." But under the last contract, UPS has been firing drivers for "dishonesty" and "falsification" for DIAD misentries that used to be routine: mis-recording the delivery time on air, recording a stop when you're back at the building, entering a closed commercial stop as a "not in" residential stop etc.
Do you think the new language will stop these terminations in the future? Send us your comments.
Retaliation / Excessive Overtime
The International Union makes big claims for the new language in Article 37, saying the new language: will protect members from retaliation, make it easier to get on the 9.5 list, get drivers 9.5 pay faster, prohibit excessive overtime on the two remaining days within a workweek, increase cover drivers' 9.5 rights, and give the Union the power to address inadequate staffing.
Article 37 has a number of language changes—and a number of loopholes.
More Detailed Analysis to Come
The tentative agreement is just out. It deserves a serious reading. Shop stewards and active UPS Teamsters are reviewing the contract now.
Teamsters for a Democratic Union will be compiling their feedback and publishing an analysis of the contract's highlights and lowlights.
TDU will host a nationwide conference call for UPS Teamsters on Thursday night. Click here for more information.