UPS Contract Negotiations Update

February 20, 2013: Ken Hall and the International Union have dug in and said NO to members paying toward our healthcare premiums. Find out where we stand on other key contract issues.

Technology / Dishonesty

The company has dug in at the bargaining table on "dishonesty."

UPS wants to preserve the loophole in Article 6 that enabled management to terminate drivers for "dishonesty" based solely on information from technology. Ken Hall says UPS is abusing the language.

The International Union and the company are at a stand off on the issue. Who will blink first?

Harassment / 9.5 Language

Production harassment is a signature issue of the negotiations. Volume is growing but full-time driving jobs are not. UPS is just piling more work on us.

The International Union has negotiated language that says the company will "maintain a sufficient workforce." Unresolved grievances could be taken to arbitration.

This is a positive step but too vague to protect drivers from exploding stop counts, nonstop harassment and excessive hours.

Compare this proposal with the existing Article 22.3 language which requires the company in black-and-white to maintain all full-time combo jobs created under the 1997 and 2002 contracts.

This language is much stronger—and is backed up by a 22.3 arbitration victory we won after the strike.

But UPS has gotten away with eliminating thousands of 22.3 full-time jobs. The violation has gone on for years. While some 22.3 vacancies have been filled; UPS has not filled anywhere near the 20,000 positions required by the contract.

The lesson is clear: package car drivers need clear language, stiff penalties and strong enforcement mechanisms to make UPS create more package jobs or the company will violate the contract and the harassment and excessive loads will continue.


The Union reportedly has agreement on three restrictions on SurePost:

  1. Packages can be no larger than 12 inches by 12 inches by 12 inches.
  2. SurePost can only be offered to get new business or to keep existing business from leaving.
  3. If other carriers like FedEx end their version of SurePost service than UPS must do the same.

The Union's opening contract proposals also called for "a program to ensure that where package car drivers are delivering ground packages at the same address or to nearby addresses of SurePost packages, bargaining unit members will deliver the packages instead of the Post Office." (Article 26, New Section 4)

But the company had already started introducing this service—SurePost Redirect—for the purpose of making more profits, not protecting Teamsters.

Part-Time Wages

The Company has proposed eliminating the $1 per hour premium for preloaders. That's not the kind of change in pay that part-timers have in mind.

Ken Hall has promised to negotiate an increase in starting wages for part-timers. What's less clear is what the IBT has in mind for existing part-timers.

In 1997, starting pay for part-timers was increased by 50¢ an hour and every part-timer got an extra $1 "catch-up" increase, on top of the other contractual raises, to narrow the pay gap between part-time and full-time pay.

Sixteen years later, part-time starting wages are at an all-time low and the wage gap is bigger than ever. Members need and expect significant increases in starting pay and catch-up increases.

More To Come

These are just a few of the main contract issues. The International Union has not put any economic issues on the table. Pensions, wage increases and new full-time jobs have yet to be discussed.

And other key language issues remain to be dealt with, including subcontracting where the International Union is bargaining the issue simultaneously for UPS, UPS Freight and UPS CSI.

The International Union has done a good job informing members about the company's demands that we pay for healthcare and the Union's clear stand on the issue. As a result, members are energized and united.

It's time for the IBT to lift the Brownout so members know what we're fighting for on harassment, 9.5, subcontracting, full-time jobs, technology and other priority issues. It's hard to back our union and pressure the company when we're kept in the dark about what what we’re fighting for.

Let’s unite around the issues and Make UPS Deliver a fair contract.

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