August 23, 2007: In 1997, Teamsters at UPS made history by forcing the company to create 10,000 new full-time jobs by combining 20,000 part-time jobs. Now UPS is trying to turn back the clock by stopping new full-time job creation—and even eliminating existing full-time jobs.
Ask Nicky Gladwin. In April, UPS management at the San Marcos hub in San Diego told this combo worker and 11-year Teamster that she was being laid off and reduced to part time. Within days, she was dropped to 25 hours a week.
Gladwin is not alone. UPS Teamsters from San Diego to Spokane report the same problem: combo workers being laid off while part-time Teamsters with less seniority work full-time hours.
Under Article 22.3, the company cannot eliminate combo jobs without proving a loss of volume. Gladwin has steadily filed grievances, but five months later she is still working part time.
“When I got my full-time job, I thought this is it. I’ll be able stop living paycheck to paycheck,” Gladwin said. “I saved money and was going to start shopping for a home this summer. Now, the rug has been pulled out from under me. My life has been put on hold.
“The idea of our contract was to create full-time jobs, not to eliminate them. If we let UPS continue to get away with this, that will be the end of combo jobs. Our union needs to take a stand,” Gladwin said.
Violating Article 22.3
In metro Philly, UPS is taking a different tack to violate its obligations under our contract to create full-time jobs.
At the Willow Grove (Local 384) and Lawnside (Local 676) facilities, management is creating so-called Article 22.3 jobs that include shifting as a portion of their day.
But Article 22.3 states that “new full-time jobs” are to be created “from existing part-time jobs.” Neither local had existing part-time shifter positions.
The idea behind Article 22.3 was not just to create full-time jobs—but to increase the ratio of full-time to part-time jobs by combining part-time positions. Without this language, there would be 40,000 more part-time jobs and 20,000 fewer full-time jobs at UPS today.
Local 384 feeder drivers have written the International Union to protest the improper side deal between their local and UPS management.
Draw the Line at the Bargaining Table
Management wants to turn back the clock on full-time job creation at UPS. We can’t let that happen.
Our union needs an action plan for good full-time jobs at UPS:
- Create a minimum of 10,000 full-time jobs in the contract by combining 20,000 positions. This is the minimum. A higher goal of 15,000 is achievable.
- Improve combo jobs by increasing the rate of pay and strengthening seniority and bidding rights.
Enforce the contract by stopping side deals that violate Article 22.3 and returning all laid-off combo workers to full-time with full back-pay.
UPS management is under pressure to settle our contract early. This gives us leverage to win more and better full-time jobs. It’s up to UPS Teamsters to make sure our union leadership doesn’t settle short.