New York UPS Local Adopts Reforms

January 18, 2010: Reform leaders have taken office in Teamsters Local 804 and are setting a new direction for one of the largest UPS locals in the country. They’ve also inherited serious challenges.

The 7,000 UPS Teamsters of Local 804 elected the Members United Slate last month with 68 percent of the vote.

In their first official act, the new leadership adopted a Grievants’ Bill of Rights. “Deal-cutting and horse-trading of grievances are out,” said President Tim Sylvester. “Grievances will be settled on their merits and members will be informed and involved at every step.”

Local 804 officers voted to slash their salaries and eliminate contributions to a special 401k plan for officers, financial reforms that will save the local about $400,000 a year.

That will free up money for new educational programs being launched at Local 804. The newly established Ron Carey Memorial Education Fund will pay for Local 804 members to participate in labor education programs.

The local is also launching its own 804 University with workshops for stewards and members.

Some outgoing Executive Board and Business Agents left a huge backlog of unresolved grievances—including more than 150 pending arbitrations. But the local’s grievance records were almost nonexistent. Computer hard drives and software were erased or removed.

Union reps and stewards are working together to process the outstanding grievances and create a new grievance tracking system.

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