DHL Contract Revealed: Time to Stand United

February 21, 2008: For thousands of DHL Teamsters, the long-awaited decision time is near.
Are we going to let this giant corporation put a “red circle” noose around us, and convert good full-time jobs to three-hour part-timers?

The DHL national contract and national Pick Up and Delivery Supplement are not yet public, but we have obtained the key details contained in the deal. The following give-aways have been agreed to by Brad Slawson of the International Union, and will be in the proposed tentative agreement.

As of mid-February, national negotiations have resumed and could wrap up at any time. It’s crunch time for saving Teamster standards at DHL.

Givebacks Revealed

Read these give-aways that are in the proposed tentative agreement:

  • The employer would be free to employ part-timers “to fulfill its operational needs.” There is no limit on the number of part timers who will load, unload, sort, and on the ramp. The only limit of the number of part-time pick-up and p.m. shuttle drivers is 15 percent of the total full-time drivers.
  • Part-timers would only be guaranteed three hours work, and may be scheduled to work any five days. Start times for part timers may be changed by the employer up to two hours every day.
  • All existing full-timers would be red-circled by name and then guaranteed 40 hours per week unless they are laid off, or ten-percenters. As Teamsters retire or quit, the red-circle shrinks, and the noose tightens.
  • Full-timers and part-timers would be on separate seniority lists, creating a whole new second-class of Teamsters, a class that would grow in numbers.
  • The employer can choose to be in either the MCLAC grievance panels, or its own grievance panels, with DHL management people holding 50 percent of the cards. This is a UPS-style disaster; ask any UPS Teamster if this system protects them.
  • The contract does not bind DHL Express’s corporate parent or any other subsidiary, leaving us vulnerable to company shell games.
  • The grievance procedure is gutted. The “hammer” of the right to strike is given away. The power of stewards is limited.

Those give-aways have been accepted into the contract by Brad Slawson and the IBT, so it will be up to Teamster members to say No, send them back to the negotiating table to save our contract and a future for good full-time jobs at DHL.

More to Come?

Not all parts of the contract are settled yet. But Teamster officials close to the national negotiations could not name one new positive element in the Slawson-DHL tentative agreement.

There is some hint that there may be some jobs coming back from the @home operation, but that remains to be seen.

And there could be yet more give-aways, such as in attendance policy.

Once the tentative deal is finalized, the International will likely move to a quickie vote, using a combination of threats and propaganda to try to demoralize Teamsters into thinking we have no hope.

DHL management has made it clear they are not leaving the North American market, which is also their link to Latin America and stands between their European base and the growing Asian market. But the IBT continues to spread fear, based on Wall Street speculation.

The time is now for concerned Teamsters to step forward. Let every DHL brother and sister know that we can and will vote No to protect our contract, our union and our future.

What do you think?
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