Givebacks Hurt Part-Timers, Union’s Power

In a contract riddled with givebacks, no one was hit harder then UPS part-timers.

The proposed tentative agreement offers a wage package that is substantially inferior to the “Best Contract Ever,” opens the door to healthcare cuts for current and future part-timers, and eliminates the 10,000 new combo jobs that offer part-timers a shot at a better future.

These concessions don’t just hurt part-timers—the lowest-paid and most exploited Teamsters at UPS. They undermine the strength of our union as a whole, by ensuring that the majority of Teamsters at UPS are low-wage workers.

By 2013, tens of thousands of UPS Teamsters very likely will be making the legal minimum wage, which by then will pass $8.50 with no benefits for a year—and they will be asked to pay union dues and an initiation fee. This is bad for part-timers and bad for our union.

Full-timers and part-timers alike have a stake in beating these givebacks.

Thee language changes affecting part-timers include:


Part-timers will have to wait until Aug. 1, 2008 to get a raise of just 35¢. By comparison, under the current contract, part-timers got a raise this August of $1.20. A second 35¢ raise won’t be paid until Feb. 1, 2009.

The 2002 contract paid an extra $1 in wage increases for part-timers over the life of the contract to slightly close the gap between part-timers and full-time pay.

This contract widens the gap, by eliminating the booster raises for part-timers and freezing starting pay at $8.50.

Part-time pay will go up to $9.50 after 90 days ($10.50 for sorters on the preload only). This is a 50¢ increase from the 2002 contract. This amount will also be frozen until 2013.

Healthcare Cuts

Under the tentative agreement, new part-timers will not get healthcare benefits in their first year on the job and will have to wait 18 months for family coverage.

The tentative agreement also eliminates all contract protections that guarantee that part-timers benefits will be equal to full-timers’ benefits. (See Article 34, Section 2). All part-timers will be moved into a company health plan.

This may not affect benefits immediately, but it will open the door for the company to make cuts in the future. If healthcare costs continue to rise, we no longer would have contract language to stop UPS from cutting benefits—something that corporations have been doing across the country.

Other Benefits

The tentative national agreement would eliminate all sick days, holidays, vacation days and personal days for part-timers in their first year of service.

Part-timers in the company’s pension plan would accrue $60 in monthly pension benefits for every year of part-time service. (Part-timers in the West, New England and Upstate New York are in Teamster plans with superior benefits).

No New Full-Time Jobs

The tentative agreement gives away the language in Article 22.3 that requires the company to create 10,000 new combo jobs by combining existing part-time jobs.

This language creates more full-time job opportunities for part-timers and increases the percentage of full-time jobs at the company, which gives us more power as a union. Why give it away?

Teamster Voice: 


A divided union is a week union.. givebacks give more power to the company in the future. When new employees take a hit to the benefit of older members pensions, the union will one day cease to be. All contracts must be created equal - when newer employees suffer, the union is losing power and the company is one step closer to a generation without union representation. The company is glad to accomodate retiring driver's benefits and pensions as long as they can bend new employees over a barrel because they know that they are ridding themselves of the union down the line.  Do members still have a right to strike or will that go away too? How many years do new members have to tough it out before they are paid a decent wage for their output? How long  will they do this before everything they hoped for and saw older members get - disentigrates? Who is going to safeguard all those pensions once the union is disolved?