April 2, 2007: Our Teamster negotiators have exchanged proposals on language and economics with UPS. Now it’s time for them to exchange information with the members.
Our negotiators and UPS suspended further national bargaining until May after swapping proposals on wages, pensions and benefits. Bargaining over local supplements and riders will be held throughout the month of April.
UPS has dug in on critical language issues, and the toughest part of negotiations still lies ahead. The challenge is not just to win record increases in benefit contributions—but to win enough to reverse the benefit cuts imposed on us under the “Best Contract Ever.”
To win the language and benefit gains we need, our negotiators need to end the “Brown Out” and tell us where we stand on the critical issues after more than six months of negotiations. And our union needs to begin uniting Teamster members to show the company we are serious about winning a strong contract and benefit improvements.
Involved Members Build Our Bargaining Power
In 1997, we won labor’s biggest victory in 25 years. Teamsters were kept regularly informed with bulletins that got into the specifics of contract demands. We didn’t just get told when the next bargaining sessions were being held.
The International Union organized a mobilization campaign that united the membership and won overwhelming support for our union’s bargaining demands.
Ten years later, UPS Teamsters are being kept in the dark. And the IBT has taken no action to build public support around key issues, like retirement security, that resonate with all working families. Why aren’t we applying the lessons of the 1997 victory?
Management needs to see that members are informed and involved and ready to take action if we have to.
Six months into the 2002 negotiations, our union had already held more than 50 rallies plus a nationwide truck caravan. Early bargaining on the 2008 contract has now lasted longer than the entire 2002 negotiations—and the IBT has not sponsored a single rally, petition, sticker day or unity-building activity of any kind.
Help Make UPS Deliver
Concerned Teamsters at UPS are working together to win the contract we deserve. Through the Make UPS Deliver website and campaign, we are building a network to share information and build rank-and-file unity.
UPS management is under pressure from stockholders and shippers to reach an early agreement. That gives our union leverage, but only if UPS sees that members are prepared to stand up for the contract we deserve.
We are all going to have to live with the results of the 2008 agreement. Invest some time in your future. Contact www.MakeUPSDeliver.org or call TDU. Get involved with our rank-and-file network. Together, we can send UPS and Hoffa the message that we won’t settle short again.
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