Hoffa’s Package Division Director Denis Taylor has created massive confusion by announcing that the UPS contract is ratified, even though members Voted No and UPS announced the contract was rejected and negotiations would resume. UPS Teamsters demand majority rule, a return to the bargaining table, and a vote on a new contract offer.
Here's how the contract chaos unfolded.
After UPSers Voted No to reject the contract, the company issued a statement that, "We are disappointed the Small Package and Freight tentative agreements were not ratified." The company pledged to return to the bargaining table.
But after UPS announced it would respect the vote, Taylor blindsided the members and claimed the contract is ratified. "That's news to UPS," the press reported.
It is a sad day when the company respects a contract vote by the members more than our union negotiator.
If the Hoffa administration disregards the No Vote and ratifies the contract, it will be giving a gift to union-busters everywhere by telling workers inside and outside our union that Teamster leaders don’t listen to the members.
The General Executive Board should hold an emergency meeting to resolve this crisis.
General President Hoffa has the authority under the Constitution to respect the majority vote of the members, remove Taylor as the union negotiator, return to the bargaining table, and order a contract vote once a new offer has been reached. Any other outcome will betray the members and weaken our union.
How Can They Do This?
Outraged members are asking how Taylor can overrule a vote of the members.
Taylor is citing a loophole in the Constitution that allows negotiators to accept a contract if fewer than half of the members vote— unless the contract is rejected by a two-thirds vote.
But that is only half of the story. The same section of the Constitution says the Negotiating Committee can go back to the table to bargain “additional provisions as can be negotiated by it.” [Article XII, Section 2(d)]
No national contract has ever been imposed after a majority of members Voted No since this two-thirds rule went into effect in amended in 1987.
Unite for Change
UPSers are furious and rightly so. We need to put our anger to good use. The Hoffa administration is counting on UPSers becoming disgusted and giving up. We need to take action instead.
1. Demand Negotiations & a New Contract Vote
UPSers need to demand that General President Hoffa respect the vote of the members, return to the bargaining table, and put an improved contract offer out to a vote.
2. Eliminate the Two-Thirds Rule
The two-thirds rule in any form needs to be eliminated from the Teamster Constitution. Members can make this happen at the Teamster Convention in 2021. Vote No activists will make plans to win this and other reforms at the upcoming TDU Convention.
3. Take Back Our Locals
Too many UPSers are represented by Local Union leader that side with Hoffa and the company. We need to take back our union. Some UPSers are already leading the way. UPSers in Dallas Local 767 and New York Local 804 are running for union office this fall to throw pro-Hoffa, pro-company officials out of office.
TDU has launched the Future Reform Officers initiative to help Teamsters run for office and build local unions that stand up to the employers.
4. Give Hoffa the Boot
When this contract is over, the job is to elect new International Union leadership.
The UPS contract betrayal proves beyond any doubt that Hoffa needs to go. UPS Teamsters cannot vote out Hoffa by ourselves. But we are by far the largest voting bloc–and we can team up with members from other industries through the Teamsters for a Democratic Union network.
UPSers are located in every city and town in North America. We can form the backbone of a grassroots campaign that can drive Hoffa out of office and elect new leadership that will fight the company and not the members.