New York No Vote Reverses Pension Givebacks

December 5, 2007: New York Local 804 members voted by 3 to 1 to reject the national contract and the Local 804 supplement. Now, that No Vote has paid off.

Members are preparing to vote on a better offer from UPS that restores 30 & Out benefits to $3,600 a month-without key givebacks that were included in the first offer.

The Local 804 Executive Board unanimously endorsed the company's first offer which would have eliminated 25 & Out pensions for new hires and diverted 10 cents in members' wages to subsidize UPS's pension costs.

Money in Your Wallet

To sell the concessionary first offer, UPS and Local 804 officials threatened that if members did not ratify the deal then the Local 804 Pension Fund would maintain a 30 percent cut in pension accruals for years to come.

By voting No, members got UPS to put an offer on the table that raises the pension accrual to pre-cut levels, protects 25 & Out benefits, and puts the 10¢ back into members' wages.

Restoring the 10¢ wage diversion will put $1,500 in the pocket of every Local 804 full-timer over the life of the deal.

"I'm very proud that Local 804 members voted against the givebacks that the company and our own union tried to shove down our throats. We never should have been voting on that offer in the first place," said Jim Reynolds, an alternate steward and one of the leaders of the Local 804 Make UPS Deliver network.

"We didn't win the contract we deserve, but by standing united at least we got ourselves out of the hole our negotiators dug for us," Reynolds said.

The new contract offer also maintains a bonus for drivers-called "coffee pay" in New York. UPS automatically pays drivers an extra 15 minutes whenever they work more than 8½ hours. The company's first offer would have eliminated coffee pay for current part-timers who go driving -reducing their pay by nearly $2,000 a year.

Defending Our Legacy

Local 804 won 25 & Out long before most Teamster locals. It took a thirteen week strike to do it. Local 804 member Ed Dougherty was run over and killed on the picket line in the struggle to win that benefit. To this day, the Local 804 scholarship fund is named in Brother Dougherty's honor.

"We felt very strongly that our Executive Board did not have the right to negotiate away a benefit that a Teamster brother sacrificed his life to win," said Tim Sylvester, a shop steward and one of the leaders of the Vote No movement.

Local 804 is organizing a shop stewards' meeting and then preparing to send out ratification ballots with the goal of securing a new agreement before January 1.

"The Local 804 membership made ourselves heard. Whatever we got, we won by sticking together and voting No," said Bill Reynolds, a package car driver in the Suffolk building. "Make UPS Deliver was a big part of it. Ultimately it was up to the rank-and-file."

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