August 23, 2007: Sept. 19 will mark the one-year anniversary of the most secretive UPS contract negotiations in Teamster history. Before the month is out, Teamsters at UPS may have a contract to vote on.
Teamsters at UPS need to be prepared to evaluate any offer carefully to make sure it includes the improvements in wages, benefits and contract language that members deserve.
UPS management has a proven track record of floating weak offers to see if we’ll bite. In 1997, we rejected management’s “Last, Best and Final” offer and won 10,000 new full-time jobs and record wage and pension improvements.
In 2002, Hoffa and Hall settled two weeks early. Their “Best Contract Ever” resulted in the worst benefit cuts in Teamster history.
The slow pace of negotiations and the “Brownout” on information have been designed to lower membership expectations. But the pressure is on the company, not us. Shippers and stockholders are pressuring UPS to settle early. This gives us leverage.
If UPS comes up short, there is no reason for us to accept a weak contract. With our current contract in place until July 31, 2008, we can vote No and send our negotiators back to the table.
Last contract, we settled two weeks early and came to regret it. We should not settle many months early this time unless we’re sure we’ve made UPS deliver.
Our future is on the line. Get informed and get involved. As contract talks heat up, TDU and Make UPS Deliver will be sharing information. When a tentative deal is reached, we’ll get you the facts so you can make an informed decision.