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Unite and Conquer: Notes from a UPS Part-Timer

Every day I walk to the time clock to punch in. On the way, I say “hey” to a handful of loaders, sorters, and a few clerks, but rarely a driver. At my shop, solidarity between UPS drivers and part-timers is the biggest and most overlooked issue. Management deserves credit for dividing us. In response, Teamsters must do an even better job of coming together on the shop floor. We may all work at the...

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Will the IBT Rise to the Challenge?

The $1.25 billion acquisition of Overnite Transportation by UPS marks a turning point in the transportation industry and for our Teamsters union. The largest employer of Teamsters will soon operate an enormous nonunion freight division. And the Teamsters’ worst nemesis in the freight industry, Overnite, will be financially backed by the most profitable transportation company in the world. UPS-Overnite is the face of the new trucking industry in which all the big players—Yellow-Roadway, FedEx, DHL—are...

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Fighting the Overtime Blues

A long hot summer has been even longer and hotter for the thousands of UPS package car drivers who contend with constant and excessive overtime. The short-term impact of this problem on Teamsters is tremendous. Weekday family life is nonexistent. Weekends are for recovery. The long-term effects include more injuries, more accidents and difficulty making it to retirement age. TDU spoke with a number of stewards and business agents about this issue and what can...

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Know Your Rights: UPS & Military Leave

UPS management’s compliance with the law protecting workers serving in the military has had its ups and downs. The law is the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) of 1994. It offers a number of protections, such as the mandate that employers continue to provide medical coverage and that they contribute to pension plans for the period of leave. USERRA also says that employers must make employees whole upon their return to work...

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Joint Council Rules Against Effort to Stop Givebacks

The UPS contract contains a strong clause to prevent management from undercutting the contract. Article 2, Section 2 states that any changes to regional supplements, rider or addendum are “null and void” if they are not approved by the Joint National Negotiating Committee. But a recent ruling by New England Joint Council 10 officials declares that it is “not possible” to enforce this protection. Joint Council 10 officials dismissed charges against five New England locals...

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How to Defend Against Harassment

Pressure tactics and intimidation are part of UPS management’s tool kit. The pressure may be turned on or off, or be directed at a select few, but it is rarely out of the picture altogether. And there are times when management embarks on serious campaigns of intimidation. Sometimes a center manager who has been transferred into an area for exactly this purpose launches these attacks. They target everyone, trying to stampede drivers into cutting corners...

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Contract 2008:

In 2006 we will be just one year away from the campaign needed to win a new UPS contract. It is not too early to start discussing plans for contract 2008. In the past several years UPS has mounted an unprecedented attack on working conditions, job security and benefits. Work hours, stop counts—and injuries—continue to rise. UPS ignores 9.5 contract language that was meant to protect package car drivers. Subcontracting chips away at feeder jobs...

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Will UPS’s New Divisions Be In National Contract?

When UPS bought Menlo Forwarding it gave our union the chance to bring hundreds of Teamsters under the protection of the UPS Master Agreement. Menlo was a stepchild of the freight contract. Though doing essentially the same work as freight Teamsters, Menlo workers made significantly less and were scattered under local agreements. Local Agreements Leave Many With Low Wages & Poor Benefits The good news is that all Menlo (now called CSI) contracts will expire...

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Heat on UPS or Just Hot Air?

“Over 2,000 new jobs created” the Teamster magazine cover trumpets. Read on and we learn that these jobs came about as a result of the IBT “turning up the heat” on UPS over subcontracting and other violations. Turning up the heat could be welcome, but is that really the case or is this just because of the International Union election this year? The contract has been in effect for three and a half years, so...

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Boston Movers Fight to Preserve Their Work

Commercial movers in Boston Local 82 are used to battling the nonunion competition. But now there’s a new group trying to take their work: union Carpenters. The Carpenters have been threatening customers with slowdowns if they don’t get the moving work which has always been in the Teamsters’ jurisdiction. And the tactic’s been working. Now Local 82 members are fed up and fighting back. When movers from Walsh Moving Company showed up at a recent...

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