Record Profits Mean We Can't Afford to Settle Short Again

February 27, 2007: UPS's record profits guarantee that our next contract will be the richest in Teamstser History. But we learned last time that money doesn't make the "Best Contract Ever." This time, we can't be fooled by the dollar signs.

UPS reported more good economic news last month. The money is there to pay to restore our benefits and address the many quality of worklife problems at Big Brown.


UPS reported a profit of $1.13 billion in the fourth quarter of 2006. The results were 7.5 percent better than 2005’s fourth quarter. Overall, UPS took in a record $47.55 billion in revenue and $4.2 billion in after-tax profits last year.


Brown’s profits are up by more than 70 percent under the “Best Contract (for UPS) Ever.”


“The best news about UPS is they have money,” General President Hoffa told representatives from every UPS local at a meeting of the two-person committee in October. Hoffa said that the 2002 contract was worth almost $10 billion and bragged, “We’re going to set a record this time.”


Unlike most Hoffa promises, that’s one that you can take to the bank. Given the company’s record profits, our next UPS contract is guaranteed to be the richest in Teamster history.


The question is will UPS put enough of its record profits on the table to end the cuts in Teamsters’ pensions and retiree healthcare—and improve our benefits for the future? And will we win the stronger contract language (and tougher enforcement) we need to resolve chronic problems like excessive overtime, supervisors working, more full-time jobs, and fairness for combo workers and part-timers?


That’s how we’ve got to measure any contract put before us for a vote.


If a contract offer falls short of these goals, why would we settle early? We’re going to have to live with our next contract for years to come.


If that takes bargaining through 2008 to win lasting solutions, that’s what we should do.


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