When UPS bought Menlo Forwarding it gave our union the chance to bring hundreds of Teamsters under the protection of the UPS Master Agreement. Menlo was a stepchild of the freight contract. Though doing essentially the same work as freight Teamsters, Menlo workers made significantly less and were scattered under local agreements.Local Agreements Leave Many With Low Wages & Poor Benefits
The good news is that all Menlo (now called CSI) contracts will expire at the same time as the 2002-2008 UPS contract, enhancing bargaining power.
The less than good news is although Menlo/CSI Teamsters now work for highly-profitable United Parcel Service, their wages and conditions will continue to be set by the inferior local contracts.
For example, wages for Menlo workers under one of the best contracts, in Chicago, are just under $21.00 per hour. Wages under other contracts are well below that figure and in some cases ten dollars behind UPS wage rates.
Under the new UPS-CSI Supplement, wages will continue to be set by dozens of local agreements. One result: the number of wage rates at UPS will now balloon even further. Menlo CSI workers will get three-percent annual wage increases. Likewise, benefits will continue to be tied to whatever was in the old local contracts.
There is no catch-up provision to bring lower-paid CSI Teamsters closer to the national contract scale, and no provision to bring all employees into our Teamster plans.
The real battle for parity for Menlo/CSI Teamsters has been postponed and will now take place during the 2008 bargaining.
The $1,000 signing bonus is a bad omen for the 2008 UPS contract. UPS has tried this trick in years past to win approval for substandard agreements.
Danger of Subcontracting
CSI joins the growing constellation of UPS divisions. What exactly is its relationship to the UPS that employs Teamsters? What protections are in place to protect CSI Teamsters from loss of work to nonunion operations? CSI is actually a vendor for UPS Supply Chain Solutions (SCS). One manager referred to CSI as only a “preferred vendor,” which means that SCS is free to switch to others.
This fear is real: the agreement exempts CSI units from protection under subcontracting protections in Articles 1and 32 of the master UPS agreement.
It appears that James Hoffa and Ken Hall have failed to use the power of our union to win strong contract protections for Teamster members and to extend the UPS national contract to new UPS divisions. That challenge lies ahead.