Protecting Yourself from UPS Technology

April 15, 2010: Sensors and spyware are either on your package car or coming soon. How do you protect yourself?

UPS announced it will spend $1 billion this year on technology investments with the goal of increasing efficiency, cutting costs and raising profits.

By the end of the year, UPS says that 22,000 trucks will be equipped with telematics—the new technology the company uses to increase surveillance on drivers and push for higher production.

Telematics enables management to track drivers at all times through a system that combines data from the DIAD, GPS and more than 200 sensors mounted on the package car. It amounts to a daily OJS without a manager ever getting in your truck.

The best way to protect yourself is to follow the methods.

Center managers use telematics to print up detailed stop-by-stop reports and question drivers about their production.

Whether you’ve got telematics on your truck or not, you can protect yourself when you’re called into the office by following a few simple steps:

  • Take a shop steward. Don’t answer any questions if you don’t have a shop steward present.
  • Keep your answers simple. If you don’t remember, say so.
  • Unless you remember a specific problem, don’t guess or assume to explain delays. Do not say, for example: “I must have been sorting packages.” A better answer is: “I don’t know” or “That’s how long it took me to complete my work.”
  • Keep a daily log book. Make note of exceptional circumstances. Keep in mind that if nothing exceptional happened, there’s no reason you would remember any particular stop.

If management gives you a letter, reply with a simple and clear rebuttal letter. If your write-up is for production, get it on the record that you are meeting the contractual standard of a “fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay” and that every load is different.

And make sure you file a grievance. If you don’t management can use it against you later. The company can even use verbal warnings against you later—if they make a record of it in your file.

Get more information on telematics and how to protect yourself. And read one of management’s telematics reports at www.TDU.org/telematics

Educated Members Make Our Union Stronger

TDU Convention, Nov. 5-7, Chicago

“As a steward, I need to keep on top of the issues and know what to do in different situations to represent the members. The education I get from TDU is a big help.

“I’ll be at the TDU Convention in Chicago this November. And we’ll try to bring a couple of new folks too. Educated members make our union stronger.”

Landy Butler, UPS Steward, Local 804, New York

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