May 20, 2015: Tens of thousands of workers and supporters in 120 cities rallied, protested, and went on strike on April 15, including Wal-Mart employees, fast-food workers, homecare workers, and others.
Teamster members are joining the growing movement to raise the minimum wage and win union rights for all workers.
New York City
May 20, 2015: Hoffa has won re-election three times. Here’s why Hoffa will be beat in 2016.
Hoffa has won re-election three times, including the 2011 election with 60 percent of the vote. But the key indicators point to a different outcome this time. Here’s why Hoffa will be beat in 2016.
Is management handing out excessive discipline for misloads or missorts? Here are some steps you can take to protect yourself and other Teamsters.
UPS has the right to expect employees, in this case preloaders and loaders, to work accurately.
This is just common sense. But management frequently goes overboard from common sense to nonsense.
Beating Unfair Discipline
When challenging discipline for misloads or missorts, stewards should consider several factors including:
- Was the preloader or loader the only person covering the assignment or did a supervisor continue loading when the employee used the bathroom or went on a break?
- Did the preloader or loader come late to work or leave early, leaving someone else working the assignment?
- Did the loader load the truck or sort the packages in question by themselves or did any other person, i.e. a driver, supervisor, or co-worker, do any of the work?
Management will try to use records to show that a member has a longstanding problem with accuracy. But those numbers, while reliable for tracking individual packages, are not reliable for tracking an individual employee's performance for purposes of discipline.
Remember, management’s records on misloads do not go on a rolling nine months and they do not exclude instances when an employee’s assignment was partially worked by someone else.
Filing a Grievance
If management won’t back down from unreasonable discipline, a grievance should be filed.
If a grievance is not filed in a timely manner the discipline stands and any future protest will probably not be allowed.
Cite Article 37 of the national contract: dignity and respect, harassment and intimidation, over-supervision, and a fair day’s pay for a day’s work.
Remember, there is no accuracy standard in the contract except the general “fair days’ work for a fair days pay.”
The company has the right to expect accuracy, but not a specific number and not different levels of accuracy from one employee to the other.
As a final defense, if it is clear the member has a problem with missorts or misloads, it may be appropriate for a steward to suggest training or, in the worst case, reassignment to a different job.
Taking Action Together
Management often makes contradictory demands. They demand maximum production with high numbers of packages loaded per hour in multiple cars—and at the same time they want no missorts or misloads, or near perfect accuracy. If the preloader tries to load too fast, accuracy will suffer. If the preloader goes for 100 percent accuracy at all times then production will drop. What is a worker to do?
The most effective response is a group response. If management is giving out discipline for every misload, they are sending a clear message that accuracy is their top priority.
In such a case, every preloader is well advised to work at a pace where they can achieve zero or near zero misloads. Of course, the supervisors will scream that they want the preloaders to work faster.
Members should calmly point out that they are going as fast as they can to ensure accuracy because they do not want to be disciplined for errors.
Let the supervisor try to discipline workers for low production under these circumstances where they have already issued a pile of warning letters for missorts or misloads. Those very warning letters provide the perfect defense. As a bonus, members should file a pile of harassment letters if the supervisor(s) cross the line and demand more production in the face of all the disciplinary warnings.
Going on Offense
The best defense is a good offense. Supervisors work, they harass, they violate seniority and the list goes on and on. Center management that churns out warning letters and discipline is sending the message that they like paperwork, so give them some more-in the form of grievances.
Wallpaper their offices with every violation possible: supervisors working, safety violations, harassment, seniority violations, over-70 violations, the list goes on and on. The supervisor might not get the message but the center manager will.
Make UPS Pay For Sups Working
The contract only works if we make it work.
TDU members have won tens of thousands of dollars by filing Supervisors Working grievances. You can get double-time pay for supervisors working violations too.
Use the TDU Guide and get UPS to pay for supervisors working.
Available here www.tdu.org/supervisorsworking
Interview with Kirk Sikora Local 327 Steward Cassens
How did you become a Teamster Carhauler?
May 20, 2015: Sometime this summer nearly 400,000 Teamsters and retirees will be mailed a ballot, asking them to approve cutting their own pension.
That vote is our voice. Use it to Vote No to demand improvements in the Central States pension cut plan.
May 20, 2015: Over 300 carhaulers joined a conference call on May 14 to form a national network of stewards, officers, and active members to defend their contract and change the national leadership of the union. Now the organizing work will begin.
May 20, 2015: What to Do When UPS Management Puts a Target on Your Back.
May 20, 2015: Using your union’s legal right to acquire information from the employer can help you defend your rights and win grievances and arbitrations.
- monitor the employer’s compliance with the contract.
- investigate whether a grievance exists.
- prepare for a grievance meeting.
- decide whether to drop or prioritize a grievance.
- prepare for an arbitration hearing.
- Sign the Petition to demand an independent audit of the Central States Fund. Teamsters deserve an independent audit and review of alternative plans before the Central States cuts are imposed.
- Support upcoming Congressional legislation that offers alternatives for strengthening pension funds that go beyond slashing the pensions we earned.
- Build the Movement to Vote No & Reject the Pension Cuts. Help mobilize Teamsters and retirees to Vote No to reject the cuts in the Central States balloting this fall.
- Make your voice heard. Contact TDU to find out how you can help get information to retirees and working Teamsters in your area.
May 20, 2015: Nearly 400,000 Teamsters and retirees are threatened with pension cuts. How Hoffa helped put the hit on their retirement.
Nearly 400,000 Teamsters and retirees in the Central States Pension Plan are threatened with the worst pension cuts in Teamster history. So are thousands more in some local plans in New York, New Jersey and Western Pennsylvania.