Convoy 228 July/August 2005
In June, officers and BAs attended a meeting in Chicago to discuss the international union’s plans for UPS contract enforcement. Three years into the UPS contract, it is the first such meeting held.Whether the Chicago meeting is the start of something good or just a pre-IBT election chance to politic remains to be seen. But if the IBT says they are setting a new course, we should hold them to it.
One point addressed at the meeting was the need for the grievance panels to standardize decisions and stop undercutting contract language. What mechanism will the IBT put in place to make this happen? The horse-trading of grievances and other nonsense will only stop if the International provides strong and clear leadership. At the meeting, James Hoffa and others laid the blame on local leaders, but the problems are national in scope and the key grievance panels are run by International appointees.
Information gathering was stressed as key to the IBT’s plan. They distributed a packet consisting of four sheets that locals can use to gather information from members on 9.5 (excessive overtime) grievances, supervisors working, and subcontracting. These are important problems across the country. If you don’t see this material from your local in the near future, you may want to ask about it.
The meeting was advertised as the place where plans would be put forward to deal with the issue of UPS’ growing nonunion divisions: Overnite, Logistics, feeder work subcontractors, and SCS. No such plan was put forward.
There may be more meetings and more mailings to UPS members as the campaign for IBT president heats up.
July 27, 2005: The Union Trustees on the New England Teamsters Pension Fund have agreed to new pension restrictions—including eliminating 25-and-out and 30-and-out pensions before age 57.