February 21, 2008: DHL and UPS are launching new attacks on Teamster full-time jobs.
Members are uniting to say Part-Time America Won’t Work.
Good full-time jobs are under attack. Employers are replacing full-time jobs with part-time positions that don’t pay a living wage—even under our top Teamster contracts.
DHL is ground zero for the latest attack on Teamster full-time jobs. UPS also has a new scheme to undermine full-time jobs.
The good news is Teamster members are fighting back. If we stick together, we can win.
As we go to press, Teamsters for a Democratic Union (TDU) has obtained the details of a yet-to-be-released contract at DHL that would destroy thousands of full-time Teamster jobs over time.
The secret deal would let DHL hire an unlimited number of part-timers to load, unload, sort and work the ramp. These part-timers would be guaranteed just three hours work and can be scheduled to work any five days.
Wages and other contract details are still being worked out. But DHL Teamsters are not waiting for the other shoe to drop. They are already spreading the word and preparing to vote down the proposed contract concessions.
UPS pioneered the attack on good full-time jobs in our union, and they’re at it again. This month Brown launched a new initiative that uses part-time drivers to pick up ground packages.
The scheme violates contract language that exists precisely to stop the company from undermining full-time driving jobs by exploiting lower-paid part-time drivers.
Contact TDU for advice on enforcing the contract.
We Can Turn the Tide
Our union has already allowed too many full-time jobs to be converted into underpaid part-time positions—and not just at UPS.
The new freight agreement allows employers to hire part-time dock workers. And the International Union is behind the new part-time scheme at DHL.
Part-Time American Won’t Work. That was the slogan that united our union to win 20,000 new full-time jobs at UPS.
In 2008, we face new attacks. United, we can win again.
February 21, 2008: For thousands of DHL Teamsters, the long-awaited decision time is near.
Are we going to let this giant corporation put a “red circle” noose around us, and convert good full-time jobs to three-hour part-timers?
The DHL national contract and national Pick Up and Delivery Supplement are not yet public, but we have obtained the key details contained in the deal. The following give-aways have been agreed to by Brad Slawson of the International Union, and will be in the proposed tentative agreement.
As of mid-February, national negotiations have resumed and could wrap up at any time. It’s crunch time for saving Teamster standards at DHL.
Read these give-aways that are in the proposed tentative agreement:
- The employer would be free to employ part-timers “to fulfill its operational needs.” There is no limit on the number of part timers who will load, unload, sort, and on the ramp. The only limit of the number of part-time pick-up and p.m. shuttle drivers is 15 percent of the total full-time drivers.
- Part-timers would only be guaranteed three hours work, and may be scheduled to work any five days. Start times for part timers may be changed by the employer up to two hours every day.
- All existing full-timers would be red-circled by name and then guaranteed 40 hours per week unless they are laid off, or ten-percenters. As Teamsters retire or quit, the red-circle shrinks, and the noose tightens.
- Full-timers and part-timers would be on separate seniority lists, creating a whole new second-class of Teamsters, a class that would grow in numbers.
- The employer can choose to be in either the MCLAC grievance panels, or its own grievance panels, with DHL management people holding 50 percent of the cards. This is a UPS-style disaster; ask any UPS Teamster if this system protects them.
- The contract does not bind DHL Express’s corporate parent or any other subsidiary, leaving us vulnerable to company shell games.
- The grievance procedure is gutted. The “hammer” of the right to strike is given away. The power of stewards is limited.
Those give-aways have been accepted into the contract by Brad Slawson and the IBT, so it will be up to Teamster members to say No, send them back to the negotiating table to save our contract and a future for good full-time jobs at DHL.
More to Come?
Not all parts of the contract are settled yet. But Teamster officials close to the national negotiations could not name one new positive element in the Slawson-DHL tentative agreement.
There is some hint that there may be some jobs coming back from the @home operation, but that remains to be seen.
And there could be yet more give-aways, such as in attendance policy.
Once the tentative deal is finalized, the International will likely move to a quickie vote, using a combination of threats and propaganda to try to demoralize Teamsters into thinking we have no hope.
DHL management has made it clear they are not leaving the North American market, which is also their link to Latin America and stands between their European base and the growing Asian market. But the IBT continues to spread fear, based on Wall Street speculation.
The time is now for concerned Teamsters to step forward. Let every DHL brother and sister know that we can and will vote No to protect our contract, our union and our future.
What do you think?
Click here to send TDU a comment or question about the tentative deal at DHL.
Click here to get email updates from TDU’s DHL Network.
January 30, 2008: In good news for DHLers, industry publications report that DHL “vows to stay in the United States” despite calls by some Wall Street analysts to sell its U.S. operations.
In a statement, DHL made it clear that the United States is “strategically important” to its global business strategy and the company is not going to back off of its $3 billion investment in the United States—including more than $1.2 billion in infrastructure and distribution.
DHL emphasized that the company’s “high performance in our other regions depends on strong presence in the United States. Because of our U.S. presence, we have been able to provide the platform that allows Latin America, Canada, Asia and Europe—where we have strong market positions—to be able to export and import with confidence into the U.S. market.”
DHL is backing up its words with its wallet. The company recently announced a new kiosk network at Walgreen’s—a move that Traffic World calls “another nod toward its American commitment.”
The International Union played up Wall Street’s concerns in its latest DHL Update to try to soften up Teamsters to accept the concessions that chief negotiator Brad Slawson has already agreed to at the bargaining table.
Click here to read International Softens Up DHLers for Concessions.
January 23, 2008: Bargaining at DHL is set to restart in February and the International Union is softening up members in advance for concessions.
The Hoffa administration’s latest DHL update plays up Wall Street concerns about DHL’s financial losses in its U.S. operations and warns that “there is immense pressure on them to turn around operations.”
Here are few things Hoffa’s PR Department forgot to mention:
- DHL’s parent company, Deutsche Post, is the world’s largest transportation company. Fortune magazine reported last year that DP had more than $79 billion in revenue—as much as UPS and FedEx combined.
- DP has known all along that it will have to put up with operational losses to establish itself as a major player in the North American market—a key component of their long-term business strategy.
- DP is following the same strategy as UPS, which suffered huge losses for years to establish itself in Europe and overseas.
Why Our Union Is Doing DHL’s Dirty Work
Usually, it’s management job to soften up the members by crying poor. Why is the Hoffa administration doing DHL’s dirty work?
Because our negotiators, led by Hoffa’s special assistant Brad Slawson, have already agreed to concessions.
The International Union wrapped up non-economic negotiations with DHL in December. Officers involved in these negotiations report that the company is balking at using National Master Freight Agreement language as the basis for the new DHL agreement.
They also report that the proposed tentative deal will include the greatly increased use of part-timers on docks and for air pick-ups.
Full-time jobs and overtime are on the line. The company is offering to protect existing full-time Teamsters by offering them 40 hours work—but this red circle will be by name, not by full-time position.
As these full-time Teamsters leave, DHL could bring in more and more part-timers. This would destroy good Teamster jobs, undermine our union’s bargaining power, and also eliminate overtime opportunities.
We Can Stop the Givebacks
DHL Teamsters have already stopped this deal once—last summer.
Members are already starting to organize now to Vote No on the concessions in the national agreement. We can stop it for good this time.
Spread the word. Click here to download a bulletin you can post and distribute to members.
Stay in the loop. Click here to get email updates from TDU's DHL Network.
January 3, 2008: DHL bargaining is moving on to wages and is expected to wrap up soon. Disastrous concessions have already been agreed to in the tentative deal, so members need to prepare now to defeat these givebacks.
Officers involved in the negotiations report that the proposed tentative deal will include the greatly increased use of part-timers on docks and for air pick-ups. It will contain language to red circle existing full-time Teamsters, by name, and offer them protection for 40 hours work.
A red circle is more like a red noose. Under this arrangement, as Teamsters leave, DHL could utilize more and more part-timers. This would destroy good Teamster jobs and also eliminate the overtime that many Teamsters rely on. And it will tighten that noose.
The company may try to buy some votes with a slightly larger wage increase. Even if they do, DHL Teamsters will still be over $6 behind UPS drivers. And no wage boost is worth giving away the future in massive concessions.
This Deal Can Be Stopped
This deal can be stopped, and very likely will, if we start now to organize to Vote No on the national agreement and the so-called Pick Up and Delivery Supplement—where the dirty concessions will be located.
We stopped this deal once, last summer, and we can kill it for good this time. The bigger the No vote, the more change we’ll win.
We have to wait until we see it in writing, but Teamsters should prepare now. Talk to your fellow Teamsters. Don’t let anyone tell you “it’s a done deal” because it is not, unless we vote for it. We should study the deal, inform our fellow Teamsters, and determine our own future as Teamsters.
What do you think members should do to prepare to fight givebacks? Click here to send a message to TDU.
Stay in the loop. Click here to get email updates from TDU's DHL Network.
December 5, 2007: Thousands of DHL Teamsters are facing a threat to their future jobs and our union’s strength, as their chief negotiator has stated his view that “part-timers will be in the contract” because “DHL is demanding them.”
The good news is that most DHL Teamsters are ready to say No to that concession, and No to concessions in general.
Expanding the use of part-timers—to destroy good full-time Teamster jobs and take away members’ overtime—should be a line no Teamster will cross.
Brad Slawson, Hoffa’s chief negotiator with DHL, made the bold admission that when the company demands, he goes along, on a Nov. 11 rank-and-file conference call.
DHL says it wants part-timers, just like UPS. Members on the call pointed out that comparisons with the UPS contract are off the mark—UPS Teamsters make $6 more per hour, and that gap is growing. Slawson had no comment in response.
Slawson is bargaining “operational supplements” on a national basis, where the good language of the National Master Freight Agreement can be watered down. This process makes the local and regional supplements almost irrelevant. Some supplemental negotiations have not even started—and how can they, with Slawson negotiating his own “supplements” and keeping members and local officers in the dark.
The answer is for DHL Teamsters to be prepared—and send that signal now—to reject any agreement containing concessions.
There are plenty of other issues on the table as well. One that needs to be dealt with is our loss of work due to the home delivery deal with the post office. This deal originally was made as a start-up, with the promise that as business grew, the delivery work would return to DHL. A committee was set up to monitor it, and a formula was agreed to for the recapture of our work. It never happened.
It’s time to end that deal and bring the work back to DHL Teamsters.
November 12, 2007: Brad Slawson, Hoffa’s assistant and the chief negotiator with DHL, has stated that “part timers will be in the contract” because “DHL is demanding them.”
It’s time to sound the alarm, and time to ask every DHL Teamster to unite to stop this massive contract concession.
Slawson came on a rank-and-file conference call on Nov. 11 and made this admission. When members said it would destroy opportunities for overtime, he said DHL wants its overtime in line with the percentage of overtime UPS has. When it was pointed out that UPS drivers make over $6 more per hour, he had no comment. When asked what he proposed to get in exchange for this massive concession, he said he would work on that.
This dirty deed will be the new pick up and delivery (driver and dock) supplement that he is negotiating with DHL management.
This can be stopped and must be stopped if we want to save jobs worth having and a contract anywhere close to the NMFA. It can be stopped if members unite to make it clear they will Vote No on any contract that expands the use of part timers.
Fortunately, DHL Teamsters at most terminals are ready to Just Say No. It’s up to all of us to spread the word. We cannot be fooled by a promise of red circling current workers for protection. That’s a death sentence for our jobs and future.
International Union Ready to Sell-Out
Why the sell-out to DHL and Deutsche Post? Slawson claims they are losing money, so we have to give them big concessions. But many of us have read the reports and know that Deutsche Post feels DHL’s progress is on track.
When UPS expanded to Europe, they lost money there for 20 years, but they needed to grow in that market. Deutsche Post is doing the same thing.
But there is something that Slawson and Hoffa want from DHL: a “card check” agreement where DHL lets the union organize the air hubs, in exchange for Slawson’s sweetheart deal. We do need to organize DHL wall-to-wall, but should do it from strength, not by giving away decades of Teamster sweat and struggle in one contract.
There are plenty of other issues on the table as well. One that needs to be dealt with is our loss of work due to the home delivery deal with the post office. This deal originally was made as a start-up, with the promise that as business grew, the delivery work would return to DHL. A committee was set-up to monitor it, and a formula was agreed to for the recapture of our work. It never happened.
It’s time to end that deal and bring the work back to DHL Teamsters.
Click here to download a DHL Contract Update.
Click here to get the latest DHL updates from TDU.
October 17, 2007: National negotiations between the International Union and DHL opened in October in Arizona.
Apparently management reacted badly when the union presented demands based on the National Master Freight Agreement (NMFA), which is what members across the country demanded.
At the same time, DHL management sent a letter to their Teamster employees repeating their intent to get a UPS-style contract. What they mean by that is increasing the use of part-timers, a company-dominated grievance procedure, and complete control of the working environment. They definitely do not mean giving drivers a $6 per hour raise, to match UPS driver wages.
The union is allowing DHL to have national “supplements,” including a pick up and delivery supplement, which will include most DHL Teamsters. It is here that we have to be most on guard for concessions.
DHL Teamsters have networked nationally and continue to press to protect the NMFA language in their contract. They already stopped an early sell-out contract that was being bargained by DHL and Hoffa assistant Brad Slawson, after TDU blew the whistle on that deal.
Slawson still heads the union bargaining committee, but DHL Teamsters are getting involved and taking matters into their own hands.
September 24, 2007: As the rank and file campaign for a good DHL contract heats up, DHL management has responded by firing two stewards in Pittsburgh. This attack on our union has to be addressed head-on.
On Sept. 25, management fired Local 249 chief steward Gary Alward while he was representing a member who was being questioned about a gap report. Just five days earlier, they fired Local 249 committeeman Mark Woods while he was representing a member. In short, they were fired for acting as stewards, a clear unfair labor practice. Woods was removed from the job in blatant violation of the innocent-till-proven-guilty clause in the Western Pennsylvania contract supplement.
Local 249 Teamsters are sticking together. After Woods was fired, the entire Local 249 DHL union committee signed a statement that they would resign as stewards unless Woods was promptly reinstated with back pay.
DHL management is testing the union, looking for weakness. And they are attacking our stewards, who are on the front lines in the battle for a good contract. We cannot let that happen.
DHL Teamsters should ask your local to demand the company reinstate brothers Alward and Woods. Demand that the International Union refuse to bargain with them unless our stewards are reinstated.
Taste of the Future?
One contract concession that DHL wants is to scrap the grievance procedure in favor of a DHL-only system. Just think what would happen to these fired stewards under that company-dominated plan. They would be at the mercy of the company—off for months, or worse.
We cannot agree to that grievance procedure.
A third national DHL steward and activist conference call on September 23 drew new participation and new plans. As the contract bargaining is set to begin in Arizona in October, DHL Teamsters are getting informed, involved and united.
September 18, 2007: On September 19, Brad Slawson (co-chair of the DHL negotiating committee) will meet with DHL management to set a schedule and location for bargaining. We are getting near to crunch time in the contract that will determine our Teamster future at DHL.
Meanwhile, another important set of negotiations is starting. On September 24, bargaining formally opens for the National Master Freight Agreement (NMFA). The Freight Division held a meeting for all affected locals on Sept. 13, where they announced they expect a fast bargaining pace, running through October. They also announced they will bargain with Yellow Roadway (Trucking Management Inc) first, and then hold ABF to the same contract. This is a good precedent for the approach we need at DHL.
It’s time for all DHL Teamsters to get informed, get involved, and get prepared.
Click here for Brad Slawson and Patricia Burke’s wedding pictures.
Click here for the latest informational bulletin of the DHL Teamsters United. DHL Teamsters United is the independent network of all DHL Teamsters who want a contract that mirrors NMFA standards.
Stay informed. Click here to get the latest updates on DHL from Teamsters for a Democratic Union.
What do you think? Click here to tell us what you think needs to be done to win a strong contract at DHL.