Hoffa Announces Central States Deal

August 31, 2007: Chief negotiators James Hoffa and Ken Hall announced today they will let UPS break out of the Central States Pension Fund in an early deal to be inked by October.

Then the issue will be in the hands of working Teamsters at UPS.

This is an issue that will affect every Teamster-not just UPSers. Every Teamster who is concerned about the future of our union's power and our benefit funds needs to make their voice heard and to call on local officers to take a stand to defend our union.

You can help make that happen by distributing this information to Teamsters where you work and at union meetings.

A hard-core sales job, by both the company and the union, is on the way. UPS Teamsters need to be prepared to evaluate any early settlement carefully and scrutinize the impact it would have on both Teamster benefits and working conditions.

Click here if you can help us alert other Teamsters and to send us your thoughts on this issue.

Click here to download the latest bulletin from Make UPS Deliver.

Click here to download the latest Central States Pension Update from TDU.

Working Conditions at Stake

One danger is that the pension issue will overshadow the many contract issues affecting UPSers' daily working conditions.

In surveys and contract meetings, working Teamsters at UPS made it clear that UPS should not get an early agreement unless it includes:

  • Real protection from excessive overtime
  • Strong language to ensure compliance with 8-hour requests
  • Higher wages-especially for part-timers and combo workers
  • Fairness for combo workers-including stronger bidding and seniority rights.
  • Increased penalties for supervisors working
  • Protection from unfair discipline based on new UPS spying technology
  • A minimum of 10,000 new full-time jobs

UPS is prepared to spend billions to push through its pension grab and distract members from the critical language issues that determine the quality of our work lives.

The pressure is on the company, not us, to settle early. We need to win the improvements that we deserve or we will suffer the consequences for another five years.

Central States Pension Grab

UPS has been gunning for more control over our pensions for years. This year, they are taking a more incremental approach by focusing on Central States. If they get their foot in the door at Central States, the company will target other Teamster funds in the future.

We can expect plenty of bait to get Central States Teamsters to swallow the hook, including:

  • Higher pension benefits than what Central States currently offers
  • Real 30 & Out benefits (no 6 percent annual penalty for retiring before age 62)
  • More affordable retiree healthcare

That's what UPS will dangle to get working Teamsters to take the bait. The hook will come later when UPS caps future pension increases going forward. UPS stands to save billions of dollars over the long-term by reducing future benefit costs. That's what the company's move against Central States is all about.

That's why UPS management will offer approximately a $6 billion payment to withdraw from Central States. UPS management knows they will make up these billions and more by paying working Teamsters lower benefits in the future.

A drug dealer is always willing to sell you your first score on the cheap. They know they'll make it up many times over once you're hooked.

We can win improved benefits and affordable retiree health care without letting UPS split the pension fund. Our union took that united position in 1997 and we won record pension increases.

Hoffa and Hall Shill the Company Plan

It's obvious why the company wants to destroy Central States, but why are Hoffa and Hall are cynically promoting this short-sighted deal?

They claim that actuaries hired by the union say that breaking up the Central States Fund is the "only option." Are these the same actuaries who promised that the "Best Contract Ever" would protect our benefits for the life of the agreement?

These actuarial studies are paid for by members' dues-so why isn't this information made available to Teamster members so it can be independently verified? Instead, UPS Teamsters are kept in the dark and told to take Hoffa word for it. That's what we did with the "Best Contract Ever" promises.

In 2002, Hoffa and Hall gave away the 30 & Out benefits that we fought for decades to win-and secured in our 1997 strike victory.. Now they are poised to give away the rest of our strike victory by giving up the Central States Pension Fund.

Concerned Teamsters Need to Act Now


An early deal is on the way and so is the biggest sales job ever. We need to prepare our fellow UPS Teamsters to carefully scrutinize any early settlement-and consider its long-term consequences, not just the short-term improvements.

Leading up to the settlement, TDU and the Make UPS Deliver campaign will be producing informational bulletins. When a tentative deal is reached, we will publish a detailed analysis so UPS Teamsters can make an informed decision.

You can help make that happen by distributing this information to Teamsters where you work and at union meetings.

This is an issue that will affect every Teamster-not just UPSers. Every Teamster who is concerned about the future of our union's power and our benefit funds needs to make their voice heard and to call on local officers to take a stand to defend our union.

Remember, the 'Best Contract Ever' sounded good in the short term too. Hundreds of thousands of Teamsters paid the price through benefit cuts and diminished member confidence in our union.

We can't afford to let history repeat itself.

Click here if you can help us alert other Teamsters and to send us your thoughts on this issue.

Click here to download the latest bulletin from Make UPS Deliver.

Click here to download the latest Central States Pension Update from TDU.

Click here
to download the statement from James Hoffa and Ken Hall.


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