One-Two Punch For Protecting the NMFA

January 30, 2008: The "Vote No" campaign on the freight contract plus the new organizing at UPS Freight could be a one-two punch to protect Teamster standards in freight.

The proposed freight concessions and the substandard UPS Freight contract in Indianapolis are blows aimed at the heart of Teamster Power: the National Master Freight Agreement. But there is hope yet for union standards in our industry—thanks to a nationwide Vote No campaign and the growing movement of UPS Freight workers to join our union.

Thousands of UPS Freight workers are signing union cards. When UPS Freight is organized nationally, our union will have the bargaining leverage we need to bring the company under the National Master Freight Agreement.

The question is: can we get the Hoffa administration to use that bargaining leverage to build Teamster power in freight?

Right now, our International Union is committed to negotiating conditions and benefits at UPS Freight that are substandard to the NMFA. They have called the substandard contract in Indianapolis the “template” for the future.

But the contract in Indianapolis only covers 125 Teamsters—less than one percent of UPS Freight’s workforce. It is only logical that our union will have more bargaining power when we represent the company’s 15,000 employees. Shouldn’t we use that power to demand more than what was won in Indianapolis?

The International Union does not even intend to negotiate a national contract at UPS Freight. Instead, chief negotiator Ken Hall says he will negotiate a series of local and regional agreements. How will that maximize union power?

The International Union says we need to give Yellow-Roadway concessions so it can compete with competitors like UPS Freight. Thousands of freight Teamsters have a different plan in mind.

The first step is to vote down the concessionary deal with Yellow-Roadway.

The second step is to pressure our International Union to launch a campaign to win a strong National Master Freight Agreement that also covers UPS Freight.

Instead of slashing our contract standards to UPS Freight’s level, let’s bring UPS Freight’s substandard wages, benefits and working conditions up to ours.

Read more at Freight2008.org.

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