March 24, 2013: Ken Hall, the Hoffa administration’s chief negotiator with UPS, made a big show of denouncing TDU on a March 23 conference call with officers and shop stewards. Why it is so important to attack TDU at contract time?
Ken Hall took several minutes out of a national conference call with 2,000 shop stewards to denounce TDU. He claimed that TDU had “endangered” UPS members by publicizing the conference call on our website and as a result he would not be able to discuss confidential “union strategy” on the call.
This attack is completely phony, but the timing of the attack—right before an early contract settlement is reached—is no coincidence.
First, the phony part. Obviously, TDU did not and would never disclose confidential union information to management. Never.
TDU publicized the conference call so that more Teamsters could get a contract update and share the information with their fellow members—something Hall asked them to do at the start of the call. TDU has done the same thing for Teamster UPS conference calls for years. No one from the IBT has ever made an issue about it.
Hall himself asked Local Unions to distribute the conference call codes to well over 4,000 stewards, and he reported that 2,000 were on the call. There is no such thing as a “secret” among thousands of people. The IBT knows that UPS management is going to be on the call. This is factored into Ken Hall’s talking points on every call.
No one seriously believes that Hall, who has kept the union’s bargaining proposals secret even from local officers, was going to discuss “union strategy” on a call with thousands of people.
So why the attack and why now?
A contract settlement is expected soon. When the contact comes out, Hall knows that TDU will be printing information and analysis of the agreement so members can cast an informed vote and decide whether the new language is adequate to protect Teamsters from the problems that have exploded under the concessionary agreement Hall negotiated last time, including: production harassment, excessive stop counts, 9.5 violations, invasive technology, “dishonesty”, terminations, full-time job elimination, part-time poverty and other problems.
Hall is counting on many local officers and business agents to sell whatever deal he negotiates—no questions asked. The point of Hall’s attack was to give them “the script” for attacking TDU, the only source in our union of independent information on the contract.
Hoffa administration attacks against TDU at contract time are nothing new. We won’t let politics get in the way of doing our job of informing and uniting Teamster members.
TDU members will continue to back the International Union when it stands up to the company. And we will continue to keep members informed, to mobilize members and to make UPS deliver a fair contract.
That’s where we stand. How about you? Click here to let us know what you think.