November 21, 2012: The Teamster National Negotiating Committee has met with UPS four times, Sept. 27, Oct. 15-18, Oct. 22-25 and Nov. 12-15, to negotiate over language and operations issues.
The Union has put forward key proposals on harassment, excessive overtime, and technology. The company has countered with concessionary proposals–including more ability to subcontract out jobs.
Contract negotiations are moving slowly and are suspended until after the second week of January.
Negotiations are expected to get more serious at that time. That's also when bargaining will begin over critical economic issues including wages, healthcare, full-time jobs and pensions.
President Hoffa has promised that pension increases, full-time combo job creation, and benefits will be key contract issues.
UPS Teamsters need to be ready to hold our negotiators' feet to the fire.
TDU's Make UPS Deliver network is about just that. Click here to get involved today.
Subcontracting and SurePost
Protecting Teamster jobs at UPS is a sticking point in negotiations. The company is looking for flexibility to subcontract Teamster work.
SurePost ReDirect will return a bit of work to Teamster drivers, but leaves other subcontracting to the Post Office in place.
The Union has yet to put forward specific proposals to reduce subcontracting and require full-time job creation as a condition of continued Union cooperation with SurePost.
UPS has proposed having an integrated over-the-road network where feeder and road work could be done by UPS, UPS Freight or UPS CSI drivers. This would pit Teamster drivers who make different wage rates against each other and open the door to subcontracting that would be impossible to police.
Harassment and Excessive Overtime
The Union submitted proposals to the company to deal with harassment and excessive overtime, including new language on 9.5 and 8-hour requests.
On 9.5, the union has proposed making the 9.5 list "opt-out" instead of "opt-in." All drivers would automatically be eligible for triple-time penalties for 9.5 violations unless they signed an opt-out list which would cover a five month period.
The union is also proposing protections to stop management from retaliating against members who exercise their 9.5 rights.
"Ken Hall says there will be no contract unless UPS deals with production harassment and excessive overtime. That's something every UPSer can unite behind. We need a game plan beyond the bargaining table to beat UPS on these issues. Hoffa and Hall need to give members a chance to show we support the union's demands. Closed-door bargaining won't win us the protections we need."
Zach Pfeiffer, Local 89, Louisville
Unfair Discipline and Technology
The IBT put forward a key proposal that would change Article 6, Section 8 so that members cannot be disciplined based solely on information from GPS, telematics or other technology.
The IBT put forward the same proposal when the last contract was bargained, but dropped it and accepted a company proposal that allows UPS to use GPS and telematics to fire drivers in cases of "proven dishonesty."
Ever since, the company has abused this 'dishonesty' loophole to terminate drivers.
"I’m 100 percent behind the Union's proposal to ban UPS from using information from technology to discipline drivers. The Company has abused the contract and stretched 'dishonesty' beyond all reason. Human error is not dishonesty. DIAD mistakes are not dishonesty. We've got to restore fairness and common sense to discipline."
Ralston Boswell, Local 804, New York