January 23, 2013: UPS management is flexing its muscles in bargaining. In late December they sent a notice threatening thousands of Teamster retirees in the company healthcare plan with drastic payment hikes.
It was a mean-spirited Christmas letter to our UPS retirees.
"I retired with an understanding of affordable health coverage, now I get a letter saying it's going up to $495," a recent retiree in San Diego, California, told us. He's distributing TDU's bulletin on the issue to area UPSers to arm them with knowledge.
Teamster retirees in the company health plan currently pay $50 a month for individual or family coverage. The company's notice threatens to raise their premiums to $247.50/month for individuals and $495 for spouse or dependent coverage, or $742.50 for family coverage.
These rates apply only to Teamster retirees in the Company health plan. Most full-time UPS Teamsters are in regional Teamster H&W plans, and not under this same threat. Chicago Local 705 members are not under this threat, either.
The letter says the hikes will go into effect on August 1, 2013. By that time, the new contract will be negotiated, including a new agreement on retiree healthcare costs.
So why is the company sending out the notice now? It's a bargaining scare tactic, plain and simple.
As part of contract negotiations, the International Union and UPS will agree on how much Teamster retirees in the company Health Plan will pay toward their healthcare.
By sending out a notice with inflated rates, the company is trying to soften up retirees
and our negotiators to agree to higher monthly premiums.
UPS members and locals should say loud and clear: don't steal a decent and secure retirement from those who built the company.
The $50 per month premium is a good deal. But consider this: UPS has pushed to get Teamsters out of Teamster plans and into their own health plan, and they save millions because on average UPS has a younger work force than other Teamster companies. Now they want to enjoy that savings, and also stick it to the retirees.
UPS made more than $4 billion in profits. They don't need to nickel and dime the Teamsters, including retirees, who built this company.