UPS Contract Talks Underway in Chicago

June 20, 2008: Chicago Local 705 has entered bargaining with UPS on a new contract covering more than 10,000 Teamsters in the Chicago area. The Local 705 UPS contract is independent of the national agreement. Local 705 Teamsters are currently operating under the 2002 contract, which expires on Aug 1.

The local’s bargaining committee includes nearly 20 rank-and-file UPS Teamsters, with members from every classification.

The company is seeking the same concessions they won in the national contract last year on full-time job creation, excessive overtime, supervisors working, and part-time benefits—as well as some giveback demands especially tailored for Local 705.

UPS also wants to eliminate Local 705’s right to strike when the company does not comply with grievance decisions.

The union successfully used a strike threat last year to force UPS to create more than 200 package car and part-time jobs and to curb supervisors working violations.

Management has also proposed a series of language changes designed to weaken local language where the union has prevailed on issues in arbitration.

Full Time Job Creation

Creating new jobs and strengthening contract language are priority issues for the union.

Local 705 is demanding that UPS preserve the full-time combo jobs created by the 1997 and 2002 contracts and create 500 more combo jobs over the life of the new agreement.

The union also wants to put an end to subcontracting in the cross-town operation by requiring all those runs to be performed by Local 705 members—a move that would create hundreds of new Teamster jobs.

UPS has not turned over its economic proposals. Local 705’s proposals do not include the split wage increase that was in the national contract. The union has proposals on the table for UPS to raise starting pay for part-timers and increase in the minimum guarantee to four hours a day.

“High gas prices are affecting everybody—especially part-timers. Their wages are getting eaten up by the cost of the commute.” said Craig Karnia, a package car steward and member of the negotiating committee. “UPS has been making fat profits off our backs for years. Members say it’s time for them to share the wealth.”

Local 705 is making both the union and company proposals available to the members in their entirety on the Local 705 website. For more information, go to www.teamsterslocal705.org

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