No Protection from New Technology and Production Harassment

August 11, 2010: Drivers are paying the cost for another Hoffa-Hall surrender in bargaining—this time over the language on technology and discipline.

Telematics is like an OJS every day. Hoffa and Hall watered down contract language to protect drivers from new technology.Brown’s new telematics system increases surveillance and pushes drivers even harder on production.

The technology enables management to track drivers at all times by combining data from the DIAD and more than 200 sensors mounted on the package car.

Telematics amounts to a daily OJS without a manager ever getting in your truck.

UPS started field testing this technology before the last contract negotiations were started so Hoffa and Hall were well aware of the coming problem. But they dropped proposed contract language that would have protected Teamster drivers from harassment and unfair discipline.

This language would have prohibited the company from using information obtained solely from the DIAD, GPS or any monitoring technology as evidence that an employee violated the contract or any company policy.

But in their contract deal, Hoffa and Hall watered down this protection. Article 6 is loaded with loopholes. It only protects members from discharge based on GPS or telematics “on a first offense.” Even this weak protection goes out the window if management claims “dishonesty.”

Management has been using the “dishonesty” loophole to terminate members for “lying” when they give the wrong answer to questions about mis-sheeted packages and other petty violations. And management is conducting virtual OJS’s using telematics to harass drivers, threaten discipline, and demand higher stop counts.

For information on how to protect yourself from telematics, go to www.TDU.org/telematics

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