January 24, 2011: Teamsters at UPS Freight continue to shake their heads and wonder what happened to the union power they were promised when they joined up. Members report agents and officers have little to say when it comes to enforcing key aspects of the contract. They claim the International is working on it. But members see little happening in terms of results.
More than two years into the contract, most terminals don’t have established work rules. Article 41 calls for these within 60 days of ratification. According to sources, UPS Freight insisted on regional rules while the union countered with the tradition of terminal by terminal. So far as anyone knows, that stalemate remains, and working Teamsters suffer.
Another key issue is the rampant use of subcontracting throughout the system. Grievances, many dating back over a year, are on hold as members await the outcome of an arbitration process that has been unfolding since May 2010. That grievance out of Dallas Local 745 addresses the use of rail. It’s unclear how that decision will affect the majority of Article 44 subcontracting grievances regarding the use of so-called “one-way” contractors.
Meanwhile, members need action. It’s time for Hoffa and Hall to stand up and enforce the contract they touted as such a great victory for our union.