UPS Unveils New Technology to Spy on Drivers

February 27, 2007: UPS is preparing to implement new technology that will monitor drivers like never before. With their new gadgets, the company won’t have to send a supervisor on your route to spy on your methods. Their new technology amounts to an electronic OJS.

As part of early bargaining, our Teamster negotiators have proposed strong language to protect drivers from discipline resulting from the new technology. Winning this new language is a must.

The company is preparing to mount new sensors on package cars that will detect:

  • If the package car is moving when the seatbelt is unbuckled
  • How hard the brakes have been applied
  • How long the driver backed up on an individual stop (time and distance and location)
  • How much idle time a package car has
  • If the bulkhead door is open while the vehicle is moving
  • If the truck is in motion when the DIAD is not mounted in the holder

Tracking Your Every Move
UPS is also testing new technology for the DIAD IV that will monitor where you are when you perform DIAD functions to determine if you are where you are supposed to be when you are performing that function.

Your DIAD will identify whether you are within a tenth of a mile of your delivery address when you scan a package, get a signature, or hit Stop/Complete. If you are more than a tenth of a mile away from your delivery address, then you will have to override in order to perform the function.

The company says this technology is to prevent misdeliveries. But it will give management a treasure chest of information they can use to harass us and to target drivers for discipline.

The company is claiming they have the right to unilaterally implement these changes by exploiting a loophole in the technological change language in our contract (Article 6, Section 4).
Management says its new spy-ware does not represent a “significant change in the work of the bargaining unit” so they don’t need to negotiate regarding the effects of the proposed changes.

We Can Win Protections in Bargaining
As part of early bargaining, our union has put proposals on the table to tighten up this loophole. They have proposed that technological change be defined as “any change in equipment or materials which affects the work of the bargaining unit.”

Our negotiators have also proposed new language that would prohibit the company from using information obtained solely from the DIAD, GPS or any monitoring technology as evidence that an employee violated the contract or any company policy.

This is the kind of strong language we need to protect ourselves from the company’s Big Brother spy tactics. Of course, the company will seek to water this language down.

Our National Negotiating Committee needs to alert members to the threat of this new technology and unite Teamsters to protect ourselves from unfair discipline. An update on the status of bargaining over new “Technological Change” language (Article 6) would be a good place to start.

Contact TDU or visit to see the contract language our National Negotiating Committee proposed to protect us from discipline from the company’s new spying technology.

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