I’m a package driver, and I’m often in areas where there aren’t adequate bathroom facilities.Management is threatening drivers with discipline if we go off our route to go to the bathroom. Do I have the right to pee?
— Holding It
June 1, 2010: Teamsters can beat givebacks, even in a tough economy. Just ask the members at ABF.
ABF Teamsters united and soundly rejected a 15% pay cut that was promoted by both the corporation and the Hoffa administration.
Too often, when employers demand givebacks, the Hoffa administration comes to members with a sales pitch and excuses, instead of a plan to win.
When another major Teamster employer, Coca-Cola, demanded contract concessions, it looked like it might be a different story.
The IBT threatened to take nationally coordinated strike action to stop Coke from moving toward nonunion, third-party distribution.
Local officers united behind the plan to save Teamster jobs. Our union had the leverage to win. Instead, the IBT caved and gave the green light to a deal that puts Teamster jobs at risk.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Our union can win good contracts even in a bad economy. Local 814 members have done just that.
These Teamsters elected new leadership and launched a contract campaign to put an end to givebacks and rebuild their union’s power.
Now they’re celebrating a contract that restores healthcare cuts, saves their pensions and delivers major wage increases to the lowest-paid members.
Our union has the power to stop givebacks. Members need to get involved and demand that our leaders use the leverage we have to win the contracts we deserve.
June 1, 2010: ABF Teamsters have rejected the proposed 15percent wage cut, by a vote of 3,764 to 2,936.
Most large locals decisively voted No, including Chicago Locals 710 and 705, Atlanta Local 728, Carlisle Pennsylvania Local 776, Little Rock Local 878, Kansas City Local 41, Los Angeles Local 63, and even Dallas Local 745, the home base of Freight Director Tyson Johnson. Dayton Local 957 members voted Yes by a narrow margin.
ABF Teamsters will remain under the NMFA contract wage, as we await the next move by the company and the International Union.
Thanks to the rank and file observers for assuring a democratic and fair vote. The local union vote breakdown is available here.
15 Percent Cuts Too Close to the Bone
“The No vote sends a message to the ABF executives that we are tired of being asked to take one for the team. Fifteen percent probably seems doable when you’re making large salaries, but it cuts a lot closer to the bone for working Teamsters. We count on our weekly paycheck to keep our households afloat in these tough economic times.”
Steve Young, Local 695, Wisconsin
We Didn’t Buy the Spin
“Members didn’t buy the warnings put out by management and people like Hoffa and Keegel. We know times are tough but it looks like the economy is turning around.
“Why give the company 15 percent of our hard earned paycheck when they wouldn’t even consider five percent raises in good times.
“Fair is fair and we’re just tired of always being on the short end of the stick. Let them figure out a better way of shoring up the bottom line. Come back to us with a real plan.”
Curtiss Zeolla Local 710, Chicago
Proud to Be at the Vote Count
“I was proud to represent ABF Teamsters at the vote count. It was great to meet other observers and view the process. It turns out many of us were there to protect the No vote majority we knew was out there. It paid off and I’m glad members voted in such large numbers.”
Bill Worrell, Local 509, Greenville, S.C.
Our Message Is Clear
“We should all admire the strength of Chicago ABF Teamsters in leading the opposition to this giveback.
“The majority no vote sends a clear message. If the IBT wants to claim overwhelming support for any proposed change, it has to start with taking Teamster members seriously and listening to our sense of what needs to change.”
Paul Host Local 200, Milwaukee
June 1, 2010: Freight levels are improving and overall work hours are on the rise.
Article 5.6 gives us a tool to enforce our contract and help our brothers and sisters on layoff return to work.
Freight levels are starting to improve, and overall work hours are increasing in many terminals.
Now is the right time for stewards and members to keep close track of overtime hours and help our brothers and sisters on layoff return to work.
What the Contract Says
Article 5, Section 6 of the National Master Freight Agreement (NMFA) gives us the tools to get the job done. Here’s what it says:
“On a weekly basis, the Employer shall be permitted to work the active seniority board 25% of the straight time hours in overtime. In the event the employer exceeds the 25% overtime allowance, the number of overtime hours in excess of the allowance will be applied in the next following week for determining the number of employees to recall from lay-off….”
Just to make it clear, in a normal workweek, you multiply the number of Teamsters on the active seniority list(s) that week by 50 hours for the overall weekly total hours.
Any hours worked above that overall figure are divided by 50 to determine whether or not there are sufficient hours to bring back one or more Teamsters from layoff status.
For example, if there are 50 on the “active seniority list” working or being covered for vacation, sick, etc., the company is allowed an overall total of 2,500 hours.
If the company had them work a total of 2,600 hours, then the difference is 100 hours excess, divided by the allowable 50 hours per Teamster, means that they must recall two laid-off Teamsters.
The emphasis is on the total weekly hours for the purpose of bringing Teamsters back. The hours must be above the overall allowable global figure.
Build Your Case
This clause is enforced in a number of locals, and since it’s a straight numerical calculation, it’s hard for the company to get out of it.
Make sure a steward or other member is staying on top of this issue and putting in the weekly request for information on the total hours worked.
File a grievance on a weekly basis if the company is not restoring jobs based on the required numbers. Laid off Teamsters should be “made whole” on any lost time for which they weren’t returned to work.
Contact TDU if you need advice on how to address this issue.
June 1, 2010: UPS sups not following proper methods caught on tape.
New York Local 804 is giving on-car supervisors a taste of their own medicine.
Local 804 union reps tailed supervisors and videotaped them on OJS days. If UPS is really interested in “Failure to follow proper methods,” then they need to take a look at Local 804’s footage.
UPS management denies that they alter drivers’ loads on OJS days. Local 804 video shows otherwise. While filming a supervisor working an OJS, union representatives spotted a second driver on the same route.
He had been given all of the bulk stops. Local 804 got footage of the bulk deliveries and fully-loaded hand truck along with the tracking numbers for all the packages.
“When management tries to tell us they don’t manufacture the loads on OJS days to spike member’s SPORH, I tell them I’ve got some video they need to see,” said Local 804 President Tim Sylvester.
Local 804 video teams have also captured managers violating UPS safety methods on using hand rails, three points of contact etc. on the same rides that they write up drivers for safety violations.
No local can tail UPS on every OJS ride. To help driver’s combat production harassment, Local 804 has produced a Daily Log Book for keeping daily records.
The log book includes an OJS checklist to document how management adjusted loads, made changes to the route, and other steps to inflate a driver’s SPORH.
“We’re arming members with the tools they need to document their day and protect themselves from unfair discipline,” said business agent Sam Cuevas.
“A fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay is what it’s all about,” Cuevas said.
A Fair Day’s Work For a Fair Day’s Pay
“We’re arming members with the tools they need to document their day and protect themselves from unfair discipline.
“A fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay is what it’s all about.”
Sam Cuevas, Business Agent Local 804, New York
June 1, 2010: Teamster representatives will meet with UPS Freight management in Providence, Rhode Island for the quarterly national panel on June 9-11.
Many Article 44 subcontracting grievances are still on the table. Tampa Local 79, Phoenix Local 104, Columbus Local 413, Nashville Local 480 and Reno Local 533 all have cases that were delayed from previous dockets.
Cases on “committee hold” addressing Article 44 remain from North Carolina Local 61, Phoenix Local 104, Seattle Local 174, Orlando Local 385, Boise Local 483, South Carolina Local 509, New York Local 707, Dallas Local 745, and Miami Local 769.
There are new Article 44 cases from Seattle Local 174, Jacksonville Local 512, and Harrisburg, Pa., Local 776.
At the most recent national panel in March 2010, the panel deadlocked a grievance from Dallas Local 745 that challenged the use of rail. In a press release following the March panel, Ken Hall, the International Vice President in charge of contract enforcement at UPS Freight, said the national committee is doing “an outstanding job” on subcontracting, and the lack of progress is “absolutely not their fault.”
With the June panel, Teamster members have another opportunity to judge the state of progress on addressing key issues at UPS Freight.
You can download the docket for the panel here.
June 1, 2010: OSHA has ordered UPS to pay more than $100,000 for “reckless disregard for the law and complete indifference” to driver safety rights.
John Youngermann, a TDU member and UPS feeder driver out of the Earth City, Missouri hub, won an important OSHA ruling that supports a driver’s right to refuse to drive unsafe equipment.
On April 22, 2010, OSHA awarded Youngermann back pay with overtime and interest and compensatory damages.
OSHA also ordered UPS to pay Youngermann $100,000 in punitive damages for “its reckless disregard for the law and complete indifference to complainant’s rights.”
Youngermann phoned the company to try to get the equipment repaired without success, and finally refused to pull a trailer with inoperable tail lights and side marker lights. He was terminated for his refusal and later was returned to work under the grievance procedure, but without back pay.
Youngermann is represented by attorney Paul Taylor, the co-author of the STAA Handbook, and an expert in such cases.
“I’m really happy we got this ruling for John and all the other UPS drivers this decision is bound to help,” Taylor said.
“Many good employees are willing to work with UPS on safety issues. UPS needs to tap into this potential instead of trying to control outspoken employees and safety committees,” Youngermann said. “This decision is an important step since UPS has never had a procedure in place when equipment is unsafe to move. Instead they try to coerce drivers to move faulty equipment.”
Another important part of this ruling is that UPS must display a drivers’ rights poster in every UPS facility and in its monthly magazine.
To put off paying the damages, UPS has appealed the decision. Members will continue to stand up for safety rights at Brown.
Safety Is Our Right
“UPS has never had a procedure in place when equipment is unsafe to move. Instead they try to coerce drivers to move faulty equipment.”
John Youngermann Feeder Driver Local 688, St. Louis
June 1, 2010: UPS announced that the company hauled in $533 million in profits after taxes in the first quarter of 2010. Brown’s profits are up by 33 percent or $132 million compared to the first quarter last year.
The company increased its projections for the rest of 2010, saying they expect profits to increase by 32 to 43 percent for the year. That means they expect to make up to $3 billion in profits after taxes this year.
Brown execs say that daily package volume increased by 2.7 percent and they expect it to climb again in the second quarter.
UPS Freight is also doing well, increasing revenue by 6 percent over the first quarter of 2009. UPS Freight and Supply Chain net profits jumped to $91 million for the quarter, compared to $40 million for 2009.
It’s time to make UPS and the Hoffa administration deliver some good news for UPS Teamsters—and not just UPS shareholders.
June 11, 2010: Across the country, UPS is disciplining drivers for failing to maintain their SPOHR or maintain their “demonstrated work performance.”
TDU’s “Protecting Yourself from UPS Production Harassment” workshop shows drivers how to protect yourself everyday.
- How to protect yourself everyday by following UPS’s methods.
- What to do on an OJS and when you get called into the office.
- How to dismantle the company’s case and win your grievance if management comes after you for production.
Help drivers get the tools they need to protect themselves from harassment and unfair discipline. Call TDU to find out how you can host a Production Harassment workshop in your area.
It’s a Big Help
“We just held a UPS Production Harassment workshop, and a lot of drivers came up afterwards and told me how much they learned.
“I use what I learned from TDU every day to protect myself and other drivers.
“I really encourage you to bring one of these workshops to your area. It’s been a big help.”
Ron Revels, Package Car Driver Local 391, North Carolina
June 1, 2010: Teamster solidarity and legal action by TDU take on Coca-Cola and corrupt Teamster officials—and win.
When Local 901 members at Coca- Cola in Puerto Rico went on strike, the company retaliated and so did their own union officers. More than three dozen Teamsters were fired.
Three reform leaders, who did not even work at Coke, were expelled from the union on trumped up charges of organizing an illegal strike.
Now Teamster solidarity and legal action by TDU has beaten Coca-Cola and Teamster officials who sided with the company against the rank and file.
Strikers Win Jobs Back
More than 34 Teamsters in Puerto Rico have won their jobs back after they were illegally fired for striking to defend their union rights at Coca-Cola.
The National Labor Relations Board ruled that Coca-Cola fired the workers for participating in a strike that was “caused by the unfair labor practices of the employer.” The company has been ordered to purge all discipline and pay these Teamsters full back pay.
In a setback, the terminations of four shop stewards at Coke were upheld by the judge. A fifth steward won his job back with full back pay.
The NLRB also ordered Teamsters Local 901 to reinstate the three reform leaders who were tossed out of their union after they supported their striking brothers and sisters at Coke.
NLRB Blasts Officials
The NLRB administrative law judge blasted Local 901 officials for expelling Migdalia Magriz, Mara Quiara, and Silvia Rivera “because they comprised a slate of candidates that opposed the slate favored by Local 901” in the last union election.
Local 901 was ordered to immediately rescind $10,000 fines levied against the reform candidates and to “reinstate them to full membership in the Union including their Shop Steward positions.”
In a related case, the Department of Labor is suing Local 901 officials for rigging the local union election in their favor. The DOL is seeking a supervised rerun election.
The decision is an embarrassment to the Hoffa administration, which refused to issue a stay of effectiveness on the expulsions while they were being appealed. When the NLRB delivers Teamsters more justice than we get from our own union, there’s a problem.
The members in the case are represented by attorneys Linda Backiel of Puerto Rico and TDU legal counsel Barbara Harvey. In a move to delay justice, Coke and Local 901 leaders filed a joint motion to the NLRB asking for more time to file an appeal.