May 24, 2013: The weak contracts at UPS and UPS Freight affect every Teamster.
After hauling in almost $4.5 billion in profits last year, UPS management has reaped another windfall: contract givebacks.
The weak contract deals affect every Teamster—not just the 250,000 members employed at UPS and UPS Freight.
How can Teamsters who work at struggling employers expect to win good contracts and defend our benfits when the International Union is rolling over and making givebacks at the most profitable transportation company in the world?
The UPS deal will save the company billions in reduced pension and healthcare costs. UP TDUSers were promised they would not have to pay for healthcare. But the contract will move more than 140,000 Teamsters into an inferior health plan and make them pay much more for healthcare.
The contract at UPS Freight introduces nonunion pay and conditions at the company that was supposed to help rebuild Teamster standards in freight.
Teamster Power Sidelined
Contract negotiations started on a high note. When UPS demanded that Teamsters pay for healthcare, members turned out by the thousands at union rallies to chant, "No way, we won't pay!"
Instead of continuing to unite and mobilize, the IBT kept members on the sidelines and in the dark with an information brownout.
Angry Teamsters at both UPS and UPS Freight are organizing a Vote No movement in many areas.
The UPS Freight contract is headed down in many big locals. UPS Teamsters—especially in the areas affected by the healthcare cuts—are passing out leaflets, wearing Vote No T-shirts, and have launched a "Vote No on UPS Contract" Facebook page.
The fight against contract concessions shows the spirit, creativity and energy of the Teamster rank and file. What happens now is up to the members who are leading the charge.
Hoffa and Hall want to push through the contracts, and for the Vote No rebels to get discouraged, cynical and inactive. They want members on the sidelines at contract time and all the time.
TDU stands for the opposite. We are a national grassroots movement of Teamsters organizing Teamsters.
We can win better contracts, defend our benefits and build a stronger union—but only if we get off the sidelines and work together. Information and organization equal power.