December 5, 2007: Against the advice of the International, UPS Teamsters in Pennsylvania voted to reject the national contract and the Central Pennsylvania and Western Pennsylvania supplements.
Their No Vote got UPS to put better offers on the table—which are being put to a vote now.
The improvements in the new offer are limited—and many members feel more could have been won.
After the contract, UPS and the International Union put on a full court press to settle the rejected supplements by Jan. 1. Within one week of the contract rejections, new ballots were in the mail to UPS Teamsters in Central and Western Pennsylvania.
“After we voted our supplement down, no meeting was ever held to ask members what we want. When we submitted proposals for changes, they were not even submitted to the negotiators,” said Jeff Fretz, a package car shop steward in Allentown Local 773.
“Our supplement is substandard and we were denied any voice in improving it. That’s what bugs me the most,” Fretz said.
Under the new offer in Central Pennsylvania: no part-timer will take a pay cut when they work as a cover driver; members will earn a third week of vacation after nine years instead of ten; and part-time start times must be posted weekly—among other minor improvements.
Teamsters in Western Pennsylvania won small changes that are designed to reduce the frequency of package car drivers involuntarily covering areas outside of their bid area—including language to expedite grievance hearings on this issue and the creation of fifteen new full-time package driver jobs.
Hoffa and Hall told UPS Teamsters that they had made the company put its best offer on the table ten months before our contract even expires.
But 15,000 UPS Teamsters in three supplemental areas proved them wrong. By demonstrating more backbone than our International Union leaders, they have all won improvements in just a couple weeks.
Think of what more could have been won if our union had been standing up for improvements instead of selling the company’s givebacks.