Are you concerned about our union’s future and want to make a difference?
Then the TDU Convention is the place for you.
Attend workshops and classes. Hear from new leaders in our union. And meet Teamsters from across North America.
The Convention takes place at the Cleveland Airport Sheraton from Oct. 24-26. Make your plans to attend today.
“The TDU Convention is the place where Teamsters meet to take a hard look at the challenges we face from employers—and the changes we need to make in our union to protect our contracts, benefits and job security.
“That’s why I’ll be there in Cleveland—and you should be too.”
— Chris Roos, Local 1035 Secretary-Treasurer South Windsor, Conn.
I'll Be There
“If you want to know more about how you can make a difference in our union at the grassroots, the TDU Convention is for you. There are workshops on preparing and handling grievances effectively and how to develop our union’s power among the rank and file. Knowledge is power.”
Nichele Fulmore, UPS Steward
Local 391, North Carolina
Fifteen workshops led by Teamster leaders and labor experts on Writing & Investigating Grievances • Pensions • Running for Local Office • Bargaining Strong Contracts • Legal Rights of Union Stewards • TDU Success Stories • Labor Law • Teamster Power in the Global Economy • Secrets of an Effective Organizer • and more...
Plus special meetings for UPS, freight, rail, waste, UPS Freight, movers, ready-mix, African American, Latino and women Teamsters.
Register for the TDU Convention
To register for the TDU Convention, click here.
To find out more about the convention or get help with travel arrangements, call TDU at (313) 842-2600.
September 19, 2008: CEOs who destroy Teamster jobs get rewarded with concessions.
Teamster officials who negotiate the concessions get rewarded with pay hikes.
What is wrong with this picture?
The CEOs who brought us the sub-prime mortgage crisis and Wall St. meltdown have been handsomely rewarded for their failures.
The press reports that Lehman Brothers CEO Richard Fuld made $45 million last year while he drove his firm over the cliff. That’s $17,000 an hour!
But it’s not just on Wall Street where there’s a disconnect between results and compensation.
Yellow Roadway’s Bill Zollars has taken home more than $40 million as CEO while steering the company’s stock to record lows.
In carhaul, Allied management gave themselves illegal bonuses after driving that company into bankruptcy. The same pattern is at work in our union. Hoffa administration officials are enjoying record pay hikes while negotiating the most concessionary contracts in Teamster history.
President James Hoffa, who has called on members to sacrifice to boost the profits of our employers, gave himself a $77,000 raise. His total compensation is now $413,234.
Hoffa promised that concessions would deliver job security. The opposite has happened. Yellow Roadway and DHL are downsizing. Even super-profitable UPS is eliminating full-time jobs in violation of the contract. It’s time to stop giving concessions to corporations that destroy our jobs.
It’s time for Teamster members to stand up and hold our top officials accountable for failing to defend our jobs and our contracts.
September 19, 2008: In an unprecedented move, in mid-September James Hoffa imposed International Union control over the bargaining of Local 705’s freight contract.
As Convoy Dispatch goes to press, the International Union is trying to make a deal which satisfies Yellow Roadway Corporation and yet can get Chicago Teamsters to vote to approve it.
Freight Teamsters in Local 705 are covered by their own contract which is separate from the National Master Freight Agreement. In ongoing bargaining, Local 705 has focused on protecting union jobs—including guarding against the diversion of work to YRC Logistics. The same issue is being contested elsewhere where it has been deadlocked in the grievance procedure.
Corporate Shell Game
Local 705 is concerned that once Yellow Roadway Corporation Worldwide (YRCW) completely integrates its sales force, then Yellow, Roadway, Holland, and other subsidiaries could be treated simply as vendors that YCRW assigns work to. YRCW could also assign the work to YRC Logistics or another nonunion carrier.
One goal of Local 705 is to get YRCW to be party to the freight contract, so the company cannot use a corporate shell game to divert union work. In early September, Local 705 members leafleted an event where Yellow-Roadway CEO Bill Zollars was speaking to draw attention to their job security concerns. Two days later, Hoffa took control of Chicago freight negotiations.
Too Strong a Stand?
In a letter dated Sept. 10, Hoffa accuses the Local 705 Executive Board of taking too strong a stand in bargaining and of using unacceptable bargaining tactics.
Hoffa appointed International Vice President and Assistant Freight Director Gordon Sweeton to take over bargaining with ABF, Holland, Yellow and Roadway. Hoffa also named Chicago Local 710 Secretary-Treasurer Pat Flynn, who is also an IBT Vice President, as his Personal Representative to Local 705.
The unprecedented bargaining takeover by the International Union shocked many rank-and-file members. Local 705 has long guarded its independence and its practice of bargaining separately from the International with both freight carriers and UPS.
September 19, 2008: Yellow and Roadway will integrate operations over the next 18 months, close 200 of 650 terminals, and end up with a single operating company called Yellow Roadway. The impact on nearly 40,000 Teamsters who work for Yellow and Roadway is likely to be large.
YRC CEO Bill Zollars made the announcement to investors at a Sept. 8 meeting in New York, where he laid out the plan with a slide show.
Outside his presentation, Chicago Local 705 Teamsters were on hand to greet Zollars with a huge banner that read “Yellow Roadway Corp Worldwide Unfair to Labor. Teamsters Local 705.”
Zollars claims the time is right because the economic recession has created enough excess capacity that the integration can gradually take place with no service problems and a smooth transition.
The plan calls for sales forces to be combined right away. Terminal combinations, where the rubber meets the road for Teamsters, will begin at “low density locations” rather than large cities or breakbulks.
Some trucking analysts hailed the move, while others were more cautious.
The International Union announced they will “monitor” the situation. Concerned Teamster members are asking a lot of good questions—and not getting any answers at this point.
Yellow and Roadway employ some 40,000 Teamsters, and another 12,000 work at other YRC subsidiaries.
September 19, 2008: UPS is cheating thousands of Teamsters out of full-time jobs.
Our contract gives us the right—and the power—to make UPS create these jobs.
It’s time for our International Union to enforce the contract with a national audit of Article 22.3 jobs.
Last month, Convoy Dispatch reported that UPS is violating the contract when it comes to full-time job creation. Since then, UPSers across the country have filed grievances to demand that UPS create more full-time Article 22.3 jobs.
The International Union needs to back members up by conducting a nationwide audit of Article 22.3 jobs to enforce our right to all of the combo jobs we went on strike to win in 1997.
Under Article 22.3 of the national contract, UPS is obligated to create and maintain 20,000 full-time combo positions. The deadline for creating all of these jobs was Aug. 1.
UPS is thousands of positions short of the 20,000 jobs required by the contract.
Reports from business agents and stewards from across the country reveal that not only has UPS virtually stopped creating new Article 22.3 full-time jobs, the company has eliminated full-time jobs in many areas by failing to fill positions when they become vacant.
In other areas, UPS is even laying off Article 22.3 employees and reducing them to part-time. UPS is not allowed to lay off any combo employees if the layoffs bring the total number of Article 22.3 jobs nationally to less than 20,000. There is no exception for “loss of volume.”
New Enforcement Tool
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.
But the International Union has not provided this list to local unions, making contract enforcement much more difficult. When stewards and business agents do file grievances, management often claims that these jobs have moved to other areas.
The International Union has the means to put an end to this shell game. The Parcel Division should provide every local union 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.
Our International Union could then file a national grievance demanding that UPS create all 20,000 jobs with full backpay for Teamster members who should have been in these full-time jobs.
What Members Can Do
You can help protect full-time jobs.
Go to www.MakeUPSdeliver.org or call TDU to report contract violations in your area and get sample grievance language. You can also download or request leaflets so you can inform other UPS Teamsters in your local and put a spotlight on this issue.
Concerned Teamsters can also contact the Parcel Division at 202-624-8755. Tell them about the problem in your area and that you are ready to help our union conduct a national audit to enforce the contract and make UPS deliver all 20,000 full-time jobs the company owes us.
September 19, 2008: Local 177 has tried for months to get UPS management to address dangerous safety violations in the hub in Edison, N.J. Now the local is going public with its concerns.
The New Jersey Turnpike is now home to two prominent billboards letting UPS know it’s time to protect employee safety.
Local 177 has filed hundreds of grievances on safety violations in the Edison hub dating back to March.
Members report that packages are falling off of jammed belts from twenty feet in the air. Instead of dealing with this threat to worker safety, UPS management has stonewalled the grievances.
Management can try to hide from the problem, but Local 177 won’t hide the problem from the public. It’s time for UPS to put safety first.
September 19, 2008: The International Union has a new website design. But the same old information Brownout has continued for UPS Teamsters.
The Package Division has not published a single piece of news about UPS on the website since Dec. 19, 2007—the day the UPS contract was officially ratified.
The company is cheating members out of thousands of full-time Article 22.3 jobs and trying to worm out of restrictions on excessive overtime restrictions. UPS started allowing customers to start leaving ground packages at air boxes—a unilateral move that reduces the creation of new package car jobs and underpays air drivers.
There is not one word from the International Union on these and other pressing contract issues.
Strangely, as we go to press, one of the main items on the UPS page of www.Teamster.org is a link to an issue of the “UPS Teamster” from the Winter of 2004-2005. The column from President Hoffa in that newsletter starts, “While our candidate for President, John Kerry, did not win…” Talk about behind the times.
September 30, 2008: Teamsters in several areas report that management is claiming that “high mileage” and “high density” routes are exempt from Article 37 language.
Management is even saying that drivers on those routes cannot file 9.5 grievances.
In some areas, the company has also argued that they will only pay excessive overtime grievances on 11 percent of their routes because statistically only 11 percent of its routes go over 9.5.
While the company is settling some grievances at the new triple time penalty, management has deadlocked many others.
UPS got enough concessions in the contract. The International Union should not let them use the 9.5 Committee to push through new restrictions before many Teamsters even have a copy of the contract!
What is management saying in your building? Click here to let us know.
September 19, 2008: It’s illegal to use union funds to promote a slate for union office. But it happens sometimes, and members have a right to file an election protest when it does.
Knowing that 2008 was an election year in their local, Local 439 officials in Stockton, Calif. used union funds to print T-shirts with the slogan, “Stronger Together.” Business agents were given boxes of T-shirts to distribute for free by Local 439 Secretary-Treasurer Sam Rosas.
This month, Rosas issued campaign T-shirts for his “Stronger Together Slate.”
Coincidence? Hardly, say Local 439 insiders who say that Rosas planned the T-shirts as a one-two campaign punch from the beginning.
An election protest has been filed citing the violation of using union funds and staff time for campaign purposes.
September 19, 2008: BLET members on the Norfolk Southern railway have ratified a new six-year contract that contains improvements after voting down a weaker tentative agreement last year.
Members ratified the agreement by a vote of 1,894 to 1,091.
The biggest improvement is in wages. The new agreement raises wages an average of over three percent a year, with the biggest raises coming early in the contract.
For several years, NS engineers have gone without regular wage increases.
In place of wage hikes, they’ve participated in a bonus system that rewards them when the company reaches its financial goals. That’s left their base rate frozen. The new agreement will help NS engineers start to close the gap with other carriers.
By the end of the agreement, NS engineers will be at a wage level of around $29 per hour. Existing agreements on other properties already pay over $35 an hour. Other improvements include:
- A significant increase in the weekend differential from $30 to $45 in through freight, and from $7 to $21 in all other service, will kick in on Jan. 1, 2010.
- The away-from home meal allowance will go to $12, up from $9.
- The 401(k) match will go to 30 percent in 2010.
- The threshold for when held-at-away-from-home terminal payments kick in was lowered from 16 hours to 14 hours.
On the downside, engineers gave up a performance bonus provision currently capped at 15 percent of wages for a two-tiered system that starts at 10 percent. Higher standards are required for an engineer to receive the 15 percent bonus.
This agreement may also get Norfolk Southern one step closer to one-man crews, the long-term goal of the carriers.
The new contract spells out a scope agreement that limits the use of UTU remote control operators to within yard limits. But the agreement also sets rates for remote control operation by an engineer for on-the-road operations.