May 1, 2008: Freight and UPS Teamsters don't even have copies of their new contracts. But that isn't stopping management from trying to use the new contract language to their advantage.
UPS has failed to comply with new rules on excessive overtime. Elsewhere the company is undermining full-time jobs with a new program to accept ground packages in drop boxes.
At UPS, the language in these cases is on our side. It’s up to our union to hold the company to its commitments under the contract.
The stakes are even higher in freight—and the language is much muddier.
Change of Operations
Freight employers are seizing on a new contract clause to restructure the industry and gut the rights of freight Teamsters.
If the employers have their way, hundreds of Teamsters will be forced to relocate and enter the new “utility employee” classification.
When the International Union sold the freight contract, they promised that current jobs would not be lost to the new utility employee language.
TDU warned that the language gave wide latitude to employers.
Now, Yellow, Roadway and Holland have proposed changes of operations that will put this language to the test for the first time and set a precedent for the future.
Hearing Is Opportunity to Secure Protections
At an upcoming hearing, the International Union has the power to approve, deny or modify the proposed Change of Operations.
This gives our union leverage to compel the corporation to negotiate reasonable written guidelines on utility employees.
Freight Teamsters were promised protections when they were voting on the contract.
The carriers and our union need to sit down and hammer out those protections now.
Working Teamsters live up to our contracts. Employers and our own International Union need to live up to their contract promises too.
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