September 17, 2007: National bargaining has been suspended until Sept. 24. Negotiations on more than 30 supplemental agreements and local riders are being held this week.
Local and supplemental negotiators have been instructed by the IBT to complete bargaining on all supplements by the end of the week.
Supplements are regional and local addenda to the national agreement that contain language governing our working conditions and rights.
Across the country, management has taken a hard line in supplemental negotiations, refusing to agree to improvements unless the union gives up concessions in return. But this is no time for givebacks—not when UPS made more than $4 billion in profits last year.
We have the power to win improvements in the supplements if our International Union backs up our negotiators at the supplemental level.
Issues that are deadlocked in supplemental negotiations are kicked up to national bargaining to be resolved.
When national negotiations resume on Sept. 24, UPS will have one week to hammer out the early agreement that shippers and stockholders are demanding. The pressure is on the company.
Our negotiators at the local and national levels should take advantage of this leverage by deadlocking supplemental issues to the national where necessary and then using our national clout to win the improvements we need.