August 1, 2008: Interviews with shop stewards and members in local unions across the county reveal that UPS is violating the contract when it comes to full-time job creation.
Teamster members are standing up by filing grievances and demanding that UPS create the full-time jobs the company owes us. Our International Union needs to back up members and local unions with a nationwide full-time jobs audit and contract enforcement campaign.
UPS is obligated by Article 22.3 of the contract to maintain 20,000 full-time combo positions. The contract requires the company to have completed this full-time job creation by Aug. 1—including 2,500 new full-time jobs that UPS had to create in the last year.
Not only has UPS failed to create the 20,000 jobs, but stewards across the country report that the company is destroying full-time combo jobs by not bidding the jobs when they go vacant.
Reports from UPSers
Teamsters in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Sacramento, Spokane, New York, Cincinnati, Orange County, Calif., Toledo, Seattle, Memphis, Baltimore, Roanoke, Va., Little Rock, North Carolina and other local unions report that the company has created few, if any, full-time Article 22.3 jobs since Aug. 1 of last year.
When combo jobs are vacated, they say management will delay posting the position, and when possible, not fill the job at all.
Stewards in Seattle Local 174 report that management has eliminated 10 percent or more of the full-time combination jobs in the Redmond Hub alone by refusing to fill vacant positions.
In a few cases, members report that combo employees have been laid off.
UPS managers and even some Teamster business agents have claimed that the company has the right to eliminate combo jobs because of “loss of volume.”
No language exists in the contract to back up this claim. In fact, this argument was specifically rejected by an arbitrator when the company tried to use it to back out of its obligation to create full-time jobs after we won the 1997 strike.
In some cases, management claims that it has relocated the full-time jobs to other locals. But our follow up investigations into these locals indicate otherwise.
Thousands of Missing Full-Time Jobs
We don’t know exactly how many Teamsters UPS is cheating out of a full-time combination job. Reasonable estimates climb into the thousands. Management has created few of the 2,500 full-time jobs it was required to fill in the year ending Aug. 1. Include the jobs that have been allowed to go vacant and the numbers add up fast.
But there is no reason that stewards have to wonder. Our contract gives our union a powerful tool for enforcing our right to 20,000 full-time combo jobs.
Article 22.3 requires the company to give the International Union a list that details and identifies all 20,000 combo jobs the company will maintain. The contract says that UPS had to turn this list over to the IBT sixty days after the contract was ratified.
That was more than five months ago. But as we go to press, the International Union has never provided this list to local unions, making contract enforcement much more difficult.
What the IBT Can Do
Our International Union needs to act now to stop UPS’s full-time jobs takeaway. The Parcel Division must launch an immediate and comprehensive nationwide audit of Article 22.3 jobs.
Each local union should be provided with a list of the Article 22.3 jobs that UPS claims it is maintaining. Business agents and shop stewards could then compare the company’s list with the full-time jobs that are actually filled in the local union.
Grievances can be filed locally and the Parcel Division could file a national grievance to demand that UPS immediately post all vacant positions until at least 20,000 combo jobs are filled.
Eligible Teamsters who were denied access to a combo position by the company’s violation of the contract should receive full back pay.
Failing to create and fill full-time jobs saves the company many millions of dollars a year. This money belongs in the pockets of the working Teamsters who have been cheated out of their full-time job. Only by demanding backpay will we give the company a financial incentive to follow the contract.
What Members Can Do
Concerned Teamsters are taking action to protect full-time jobs. You can too.
Make a list of all the full-time combo jobs that have gone vacant and not been filled in your building.
File a grievance. Your grievance should state that the company is violating Article 22.3 of the contract by failing to create and maintain 20,000 full-time jobs nationwide.
Your remedy should state that the company should cease and desist from violating Article 22.3, immediately post and fill all vacant Article 22.3 positions, and make affected Teamsters whole in every way including but not limited to restoration of full-time job opportunities and full backpay.
Ask your local union to get UPS’s Article 22.3 full-time jobs list from the Parcel Division and to share it with members and stewards so the contract can be enforced.
Your local union can also file an information request. Federal law requires UPS to comply with a request from the local for the list of jobs that UPS is maintaining in the local’s jurisdiction under Article 22.3.
For advice and a sample grievance and information request, call Teamsters for a Democratic Union at 313-842-2600 or go to www.MakeUPSDeliver.org
Together, we can make UPS deliver the 20,000 full-time jobs they owe us.