April 2, 2007: President James Hoffa has been briefed by the different Teamster benefit funds on what we need to win in the UPS and freight contracts to increase our benefits. This information needs to be shared with Teamster members.
In 2002 and 2003, Teamsters were promised that our benefits would be secure for the life of the UPS, freight and carhaul contracts.
Later, court documents revealed that the Central States Pension Fund repeatedly warned President Hoffa during the UPS negotiations that Teamsters would face severe cuts if sufficient benefit contributions were not negotiated.
Members were never told about these warnings or what we needed to negotiate to avoid the cuts. This year members need to be informed.
Hoffa knows what we need to win in bargaining to pay for benefit improvements in the different funds that cover Teamsters at UPS and in freight. Management has the same information.
The only possible reason to keep members in the dark is to give our negotiators room to settle short again.
This is our contract and these are our benefits. It's time for Hoffa to tell us what benefit contribution levels we need to win in our 2008 contracts.