July 12, 2007: Management has cracked down on the distribution of Convoy Dispatch and Make UPS Deliver contract bulletins at UPS’s Lumberton, N.C. facility. Apparently, the company does not like members being informed about contract negotiations and other issues at UPS.
For years, shop steward Nichele Fulmore has distributed Convoy and other union material at the driver counter before members punch in. But on May 17, UPS management issued Fulmore a warning letter saying her actions violated UPS’s “No Solicitation” policy.
Federal law says something otherwise. Under the National Labor Relations Act, UPS Teamsters have the legal right to distribute Convoy and other TDU or union material on company property provided that information is distributed in non-work areas and non-work times.
This includes the right to distribute information in so-called “mixed” work/non-work areas where work is performed during some hours, but Teamsters are allowed to gather before and after work (like driver counters and time clock areas)—provided that members are off the clock when distribution takes place.
The right to distribute information in mixed areas at UPS was secured over management’s objections by TDU attorney Barbara Harvey, who went all the way to a Federal Appeals Court—and won. Harvey is now helping Fulmore fight for the right to keep union members informed in the Lumberton facility.
“I am a firm believer that knowledge is power. As long as anyone can keep you ignorant they can control you. I encourage the members to read everything, ‘the good, the bad, and the ugly.’ They can form their own opinions, but get all sides of the story,” Fulmore said.
If UPS management is restricting members’ right to information in your area, contact TDU. All calls and emails are confidential.