Drawing the Line to Protect Teamster Jobs

November 14, 2008: Employers are looking to trim costs and cut Teamster jobs in 2009.

Our union needs an action plan to protect our job security.

In 2008, Teamster employers got the Hoffa administration to agree to record concessions. The same employers are gearing up to cut Teamster jobs in 2009.

Yellow Roadway Corporation is consolidating its operations in a move that will eliminate thousands of Teamster jobs.

UPS has announced plans to “right-size” in 2009.

With the economy slowing down, our union needs an action plan to protect Teamster jobs.

Drawing the Line at UPS

Wall Street’s hangover and the economic slowdown have even hit UPS, where profits fell by 4.4 percent in the third quarter.

UPS still made $1.6 billion in after-tax profits for the quarter. Not too shabby. But that hasn’t stopped UPS from slashing full-time Teamster jobs—in a clear violation of the contract.

Our Teamster contract requires UPS to maintain 20,000 full-time “combo” jobs—full-time jobs that are created by combining two part-time jobs.

These are the jobs that our union won in the historic 1997 UPS strike.

But UPS is thousands of jobs short of the 20,000 full-time combo jobs required by the contract. And every day management is eliminating more of these jobs.

President Hoffa has bragged that our union has a “Hammer” to stop employers in egregious cases like this: the Right To Strike on deadlocked grievances.

No one needs a strike, especially before the holidays (including UPS). What we do need is to send a clear message to every Teamster employer that our union is serious about protecting members’ jobs.

Is it time to remind management that we’ve got the Hammer?

Forward in 2009

In tough times like these we need to defend our jobs and contracts. And we also need to look at where we can go on the offensive.

With a new President and Congress, the labor movement is going all out to win passage of the Employee Free Choice Act, which would make it easier for workers to form a union.

Teamsters need to be in the front lines of this fight. And we need to hit the pavement in drives to organize the nonunion competition. That’s the best job security program of all.

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