November 2, 2009: DHL Teamsters report that IBT officials have met with management over proposed contract changes that would include buy outs of Teamster to allow the hiring of low-wage drivers and dock workers.
Reportedly, DHL Teamsters currently working would be offered $75,000 to sever ties with the company while those remaining on lay off status would be offered $25,000. 75 percent of the remaining currently working active seniority list would be “red circled” and guaranteed 40 hours per week at full pay rate. The remaining 25 percent would drop down to part time status at $12 - $14 hour.
At this point no proposal in writing has been put to the members. Teamsters have a right to vote on any proposed contract change.
Concerned DHL Teamsters have launched a campaign to oppose the changes to the contract. They see the re-opener as a DHL effort to eliminate good fulltime union jobs and reposition the company with reduced labor costs. Under the national contract, DHL cannot use part-time drivers until they have recalled all Teamsters on lay off.
As the economy recovers, DHL—which is the largest express carrier in Europe and in much of the world—may seek to expand into the U.S. domestic market with labor costs well below that of UPS or even of nonunion FedEx.
Teamster activists at DHL plan to pressure the IBT and their local officers to oppose the buy outs and other concessions. Petitions are circulating opposing any changes to the contract.