UPS has made record profits even in the recession. UPS's freight and cartage division has done quite well and continues to grow in importance to the overall corporation.
It's an ideal time for UPS Freight Teamsters to make gains in our job protections and benefits.
A proposed tentative agreement may be delivered to Teamster members for a vote soon. We need to be prepared to evaluate the contract on the key issues.
We have a Right to Vote by secret ballot, and a right to study the contract and discuss it at meetings and amongst ourselves. This is our power.
We do not have to accept the first offer: the contract doesn't expire until July 31. UPS wants an early ratification. That's a bargaining chip that we can use. We can always send the first offer back for further negotiation and a clear message of what areas of the contract need to be changed to get a yes vote.
The current contract was our first and has many areas that need to be addressed. Below are a few key aspects that many members have highlighted.
|What We Got in 2008
|What We Need in 2013
|Comparable wage rates with ABF but well below UPS package car and feeder rates. The part-time dock rates are far below union standards.
|Significant pay increase for drivers and dock. Bring everyone up to union scale.
|Pensions & Benefits
|Substandard health insurance and no Teamster pension.
|Improvements in health coverage. Ken Hall has stated that Teamsters under the package contract will not pay one cent for coverage. We should get the same in the UPS Freight contract: end the second-class status. Improvements are needed in pension benefits also.
|Article 44 has devastated our road boards. We have actually lost ground under the contract.
|We need firm language eliminating subcontracting. Both the UPS and National Master Freight contracts have language that could work. Bring all the jobs in-house.
|Article 41 Existing Practices. A blank slate to be determined within 60 days of ratification. In most areas nothing was ever agreed to.
|Get clear and firm language on a procedure and deadline for establishing work rules.
|No Transfer Rights.
|Established Transfer Rights. Any UPS Freight Teamster should be able to transfer and bid on an unfilled position at any terminal providing their seniority allows.
|Layoff and Recall
|No layoff recall language.
|Firm formula on overall overtime hours that triggers recalls from layoff status.
February 11, 2013: Negotiations between the International union and UPS Freight are getting serious – the time is now for members to stand united and strong for a good contract.
On a conference call with officers last Friday, IBT Secretary-Treasurer Ken Hall stated that two key issues are ending subcontracting, and health care premiums the company forces onto members.
On the health care issue, the union is demanding at UPS Package that members retain fully company-paid health insurance. In response to management's demand that Teamsters in package pay up to $90 per week for health insurance, Hall stated that "We're not paying $90. We're not paying $9. We're not paying 9¢. We're not paying premiums for health insurance for a company that made $4.38 billion," Hall said.
That same statement should apply to UPS Freight, too. Teamsters at ABF, YRC and other major companies pay nothing for health insurance.
We didn't win that in our first contract – now is the time to win parity with other Teamsters on health insurance.
The union has also demanded an end to subcontracting. This is a must-win issue to protect jobs and our union strength. Teamsters at ABF, YRC and other companies already enjoy this basic protection.
The International Union is calling on all locals to make February 21 a day of unity. Stickers about the issues of health insurance and subcontracting will be distributed to all locals to provide to members, for a show of unity for a good contract.
National negotiations resume shortly after February 21.
Click here to view or download a petition to UPS CEO Scott Davis – find out how you can help win a better contract.
Click here to sign up for updates or ask a question of the TDU UPS Freight Network.
January 23, 2013: Members pledge to vote NO unless contract has major improvements.
Teamsters at UPS Freight are organizing to win a good contract. Stewards and active members have met for months to discuss necessary improvements with the 2013 contract. A solid set of union proposals was taken to negotiations.
Members understand that it will take the active involvement of Teamster members to succeed. In January they launched a petition campaign to reach more members and build unity on making major gains on contract language.
The petition is addressed to UPS CEO Scott Davis and states that members will not vote for a contract that does not address subcontracting, bidding rights, guaranteed hours, and improvements of health insurance, pension and wages. A show of unity will help reinforce the union bargaining team to win a strong contract.
"The petition is a great way to talk with other Teamsters about what we need in the next contract," commented Kathy Ventura, a road driver out of Akron. "It can also show the unity of our union to bargain for what we want."
Click here to view and download the petition at UPSFreightTalk.org.
"The petition is a great way to talk with other Teamsters about what we need in the next contract.
"It can also show the unity of our union to bargain for what we want."
Kathy Ventura, Local 24, Akron, Ohio
November 29, 2012: The International Union has given UPS Freight a new Letter Of Agreement (LOA) which allows the company to have two different wage scales for clerks at various terminals. This is supposedly a national master agreement.
The surprise deal gives clerks at a number of terminals a 2.5% lower wage scale than the master provides for; they also lose five months of 3.5% retroactive pay.
A full-time clerk making union scale will lose about $1100 in retroactive pay, and about $1000 every year going forward.
The new LOA states that clerks who were organized into the Teamsters prior to the June 27, 2012 deadline for card check, but after the master contract was voted on, get the lower scale. Instead of a 3.5% raise, which the master contract calls for, they get a 1% raise. And they get retro pay only back to June 1, instead of January 1, 2012.
The point of a master contract is to treat all Teamsters equally, regardless of which terminal they work at.
And when locals went to clerks and asked them to join the union, they showed them the master contract, with the 3.5% raise in it, retroactive to January 1. Now those affected locals have to try to explain this mean-spirited deal to their new members.
That's no way to treat any Teamster—especially these newly-organized sisters and brothers.
The money involved in this deal is chump-change to UPS. But it's a lot to the clerks, many of whom don't get full-time hours or full union scale.
This injustice should be corrected in bargaining. Bring everyone up to union scale.
Click here to read the one-page memo dated May 23, 2012, specifying the 3.5% raise.
Click here to read a new two-page LOA which eliminates that clause (Section 14(a)) in the contract and substitutes a 1% raise, for affected Teamsters.
November 26, 2012: UPS Freight Teamsters are under the same information Brownout as UPS parcel teamsters.
Several bargaining sessions were held in October and November, but our union has yet to issue any updates or post information that would help unify our workforce to stand together for a good contract.
Teamster Voice has learned that management has made a proposal to mingle the road operations of UPS Freight, Parcel and Cartage. We know well they want to subcontract out our road jobs, and need to get firm protections to bring back Teamster jobs.
When UPS Freight Teamsters were asked to join our union, the slogan was "One Company, One Union." We need that to be the reality of what's achieved in these negotiations. Any UPS operation involving the moving of freight needs to be Teamster. That stance and bargaining victory would go a long, long way to restoring union power for our members.
UPS Freight Teamsters are having their say. Click the links to read Teamster Viewpoints by two of our Teamster brothers at UPS Freight.
November 20, 2012: Last August, a group of stewards and officers were invited to the IBT headquarters in Washington to discuss the contract issues we face at UPS Freight. I attended and wish to thank my local officers and the General Executive Board for the hard work they have been doing thus far on the negotiations.
Many of us felt our contract was substandard, but it was the first so we expect a strong contract this time around. There are some issues that we have to make sure are dealt with before ratifying any second contract.
Here are a few I raised in Washington.
Our medical insurance has to be addressed. As a father of four children, I was not happy with the first contract. When we were employees of Motor Cargo, we enjoyed the option of a PPO or an HMO plan. For the last five years we have had substandard medical coverage.
Management and non-union employees have the choice of a PPO or HMO. We need the same option with more coverage and less out of pocket expense. Our current plan has an out of pocket expense max of $1,500 per family member.
UPS Freight can afford top-of-the-line benefits for Teamsters. The operating profits for UPS Freight and Logistics in the last quarter posted were over $200 million.
Many of our Teamster brothers have lost their jobs during the last four years because of subcontracting. We have seen the company take advantage of the loop hole in article 44 that covers one-way freight. We have also seen the company subcontract local cartage work, displacing more teamsters. When we met in Washington, everyone agreed we have to stop the subcontracting in this contract bargaining.
We have good union proposals but we have to stand firm and make sure that the strong language doesn't get watered down when the contract comes to us for a vote.
Jose Nuñez, Local 439, Stockton, Calif.
November 20, 2012: Concerned UPS Freight Teamsters have been working with TDU for some time to focus on what members need with our next contract. It's clear that the IBT listened when it came to putting the package of proposals together to bargain with UPS Freight management.
Here are some of the key issues we discussed and what the IBT presented to the company.
- 1. Eliminate contractors taking Teamsters' work. No contractors to be allowed if any full-timer or casual is on layoff status.
The IBT proposal is to eliminate paragraph 2 of Article 44.
- 2. Protect job bid start times. If the company needs to change a job bid start time, they must offer a re-bid of job if current holder wishes to bump off job bid.
The IBT proposal is to reduce the number of times the company can cancel/move a bid from 50% in 60 days, to 6 times in 30 days.
- 3. We need a trigger or hours formula for lay off recall rights. This is a must have, to protect full time job bids.
The IBT has proposals for both layoff and recall triggers.
- 4. Eliminate the 10% rule for job bids. All full timers shall be guaranteed an 8 hour day of pay.
The IBT has a proposal to make all job bids guaranteed.
- 5. Increase sick days to be used at employee's discretion. Allow Teamsters to bank unused sick days.
The IBT has a proposal to bank unused sick days.
- 6. Adopt language from the UPS "brown" contract that curtails excessive overtime.
The IBT has a proposal to limit forced OT.
- 7. Increase the number of full time jobs.
The IBT has a proposal to increase full time jobs based on the hours worked by a casual in 30 days in a 60 day period. Also if two casuals are book-ended on 2 continuous 4 hour shifts for 30 days in a 60 day period.
October 24, 2012: UPS released its third-quarter financials yesterday, and has upgraded its projected profits for 2012.
Once again, UPS Teamsters drove the company’s revenue. International package volume dropped by 3.7% or 400,000 packages a day. U.S. package revenue increased $94 million over last year, driven by a 3.7% gain in daily volume.
UPS said its overall profit for the third quarter would have been about $1.66 billion, down just a fraction from $1.67 billion last year. This comes to after-tax profits of $1.03 billion.
Instead, UPS reported after-tax profits of $469 million. That’s because UPS deducted a one-time $559 million charge for restructuring Teamster pensions in New England.
This led to misleading headlines in some press reports, like “UPS reports 56% drop in third quarter profits.”
No doubt, UPS managers and sups will try to play this number up. It’s contract time after all.
The truth is the New England pension deal and one-time charge will deliver huge savings for the company over time. Under the same deal, UPS’s contributions to Teamster pensions in New England will be frozen at the same level for the next ten years.
While UPS is reporting the $559 million charge now, they are actually paying it off over the next 50 years! For more on the New England pension deal, click here.
On a conference call with investors and analysts, UPS’s chief financial officer, Kurt P. Kuehn, said the company was raising its profit projections for the year.
“Given our performance and greater confidence in fourth-quarter execution, we have enhanced our full-year earnings guidance,” Kuehn said.
You can see UPS’s quarterly financial report here.
UPS Freight Profit Grows
UPS reported that the Supply Chain and Freight segment remained strong, with an operating margin of 8.3%.
The international freight forwarding unit was slightly down, which was more than offset by gains at UPS Freight.
UPS Freight revenue increased 3.6% as shipments per day were slightly up. LTL revenue per hundredweight and gross weight hauled improved over the prior year period, resulting in operating margin expansion.
You can see UPS’s quarterly financial report here.
October 22, 2012: The union’s bargaining committee will resume bargaining with UPS Freight management November 12-16, in Washington D.C.
After bargaining last week, the International union issued a press released which quoted union bargaining chair Ken Hall as saying that “a lot of progress” was made at the table.
At a meeting with officers of all affected locals on September 21, Hall stated that UPS Freight has not been profitable, so he would keep union demands modest. In fact, UPS's own financial reports for 2011 and mid-year 2012 reflect the fact that they are happy with UPS Freight's growth and profitability.
UPS Freight Teamsters are building a network of members to have a voice in bargaining. Click here to visit UPSFreightTalk.org, sign up for email updates and have your say.
You can review the contract proposals which the union submitted to the company here.
September 28, 2012: The IBT has put initial demands on the table for the UPS Freight Contract. TDU is making the union proposals available here for members to review and discuss. This is your contract.
An IBT press release stated that Parcel Division Director Ken Hall would make ending subcontracting of Teamster work a priority.
The initial proposal from the union has a number of positive proposals, but leaves out some important issues. They will need to be addressed in later additions to the union demands.
For example, Article 41 (existing work practices) is not mentioned. No substantial changes to the grievance procedure are proposed: no penalty pay, no proposals to speed up the procedure, etc.
On subcontracting, the proposal is to delete the second paragraph of Article 44; that paragraph undermines the protection against subcontracting.
On Casuals, there is language that if 30 8-hour shifts (or back-to-back 4 hour shifts) are worked in 60 days, the company must hire a full timer. That's a good start, but more is needed.
Proposals on Article 25, which covers our benefits and economics, will come later.
The UPS Freight contract doesn't expire until August 1, 2013. Management wants an early deal to remove any threat of a work stoppage or last-minute contract rejection. In return, our union and members have every right to demand a strong contract.
We only get the chance to bargain a contract every five years. We need to make the most of this opportunity to address the many problems we face at UPS Freight.
Members are encouraged to review the packet of proposals submitted so far—and give their feedback. The union has the right to make additions, deletions or modifications to its demands. The time to speak up is now.
Teamsters for a Democratic Union will continue to keep members informed. Click here to sign up for contract updates or to send a message to TDU's UPS Freight Talk network.