September 21, 2012: Officers from UPS Freight locals met in Chicago today to review the union's bargaining demands for the negotiations, which formally open on September 27.
Small Package Division director Ken Hall gave a report and went over the demands, at a meeting that lasted an hour. It followed a similar meeting on the UPS contract.
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.
On the critical issue of subcontracting out union jobs, the union is demanding that the second paragraph in Article 44 be deleted, as it contradicts the anti-subcontracting language of the first paragraph.
Hall stated the order of priority for monetary issues would be 1) pensions, 2) health care, and 3) wages.
There were several questions and concerns raised about the proposals from the floor, then a motion was made to end the meeting. Some officers later told us they believe that on issues of subcontracting, use of casuals, bidding, and other operational issues, the demands could benefit by taking good language from the freight contract.
The union officers were not allowed to keep copies of the union proposals. Hall stated this was because TDU would make them available to members before he has a chance to hand them to management next week. He stated they would be provided to all locals at that time.
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!
August 22, 2012: Negotiations for the next UPS Freight contract are set to commence in late September. When the contract was signed in 2008, we were told it was only a first contract, and the big issues would be dealt with next time.
Now is the time!
Negotiations are set to begin this fall. Most locals have held meetings to gather member proposals. That's a start, but the key is to build rank and file unity behind some key issues.
TDU members and other concerned Teamsters at UPS Freight have been meeting by conference call. We established a new website, UPSFreightTalk.org, for members to exchange information and develop a plan for winning a better contract.
Here are some of the key areas of the contract that members agree need to be addressed. This is not a complete list, but some key issues that need to be dealt with in this contract.
Pension and Health and Welfare
Join the United Parcel Service Health & Welfare and Pension plans, or match the benefit level. Same benefits for all UPS Teamsters, no matter what division.
Establish clear timelines and deadlines for the resolution of grievances.
The probationary period for all job classifications should be 30 work days. Eliminate the "casual" job classification and board.
Layoffs and Jobs
Create a "trigger" or formula for overall overtime hours that shall lead to recall or hiring. It protects full-time jobs and will protect against the abusive use of contractors.
Existing Practices—Work Rules
Negotiate them. Get them established as proposed supplements or riders prior to ratification vote. Separate vote on supplement or rider.
Improve the schedule. 1-3 years = 10 days. 4-7 years = 15 days. 8-15 years = 20 days. 16-30+ years = 25 days. No blackout weeks for vacations. 15 percent of seniority board may be off a week. Increase discretionary or sick days and personal holidays.
Following ratification, those currently in progression immediately go to top rate. Substantial hourly and OTR wage increases.
Click here to download these issues as a leaflet and spread the word to other members.
Subcontracting Takes Our Work
Local 222, Salt Lake City
In Salt Lake City, the main issue for the road is subcontracting. We have several contract carriers that run more regularly than our Teamster drivers. They run trips to Reno, and Fontana, Calif. Sometimes they pull our trailers loaded and empty, like AV Carriers who run east and then back through Denver.
We have 72 road drivers and four are currently on layoff. Because of the bid runs available, we have several "one trip Omaha" which is 1,800 team miles and takes about 30 hours. That leaves all the drivers on that bid on the extra board before and after their one trip.
Most of us just want some regularity to our work and to move all the work that's ours.
Equality on Pensions and Health Insurance
Charlie Newman, City Steward
Local 150, Sacramento
Management at UPS Freight expects us to work like UPS package. We got the same wear and tear on our backs, knees, and every joint. It's time to give us health and pension benefits that match the package contract. We need our current pension rolled into the Teamster pension funds that UPS contributes to with the package contract. We need credit for our years.
August 30, 2012: In 2008, when we got our first contract, the International Union told us that it was a "foot in the door" and real gains would come next time.
Now it's next time.
UPS Freight Teamsters can win parity and plug the holes in our contract, if we unify and say NO to any substandard contract.
Dan Campbell, a retired experienced Teamster officer who was on the 1997 National Negotiating Committee for UPS, when the Teamsters decisively won a three-week strike, points out that some parts of the UPS national contract provide a template to use.
"The union chair, Ken Hall, is the same for both contracts. Many of the union negotiating committee members are the same, also. They know the UPS contract, and that there are many clauses that can be used as models for UPS Freight.
"The operations are different of course, but there are many areas to copy. Benefit levels, wage improvements, subcontracting language, as well as language on such things as excessive overtime, and the union's right to information."
When the Teamsters asked UPS Freight workers to join the union, the slogan was "One company, one union." It's a good principle.
The communications hub for UPS Freight Teamsters who want to share information, build rank and file unity, and win a better contract.
Click here to check it out. Get on the list for updates.
July 6, 2012: Multiple union sources report that the International union and UPS Freight management have agreed to delay or shelve the arbitration process for the deadlocked Dallas Local 745 subcontracting grievance. It appears that management and the Hoffa administration are trying to settle the issue prior to bargaining the new contract. Contract bargaining is slated to begin this fall.
At the national panel in June, once again no grievances dealing with subcontracting out union road work were dealt with. They were put on hold or withdrawn. Click here to read the decisions.
This problem has only gotten worse, and should have been dealt with long ago. Many members are now getting their hopes up that the issue will finally be dealt with, starting at the largest hubs.
One report is that management and the union could agree to the subcontracting language that exists in the national UPS package agreement. That may be an improvement, but many feeder drivers will tell you that there is too much subcontracting allowed at UPS even with that language.
The national master freight contract is the best model for language on subcontracting. There are three pages that cover various aspects. The IBT has decades of experience enforcing this language. It should be the model for the UPS Freight contract.
"I want to see every Teamster working," commented Terry Scott, a road steward at the Gaffney, South Carolina terminal and Local 509 Teamster. "As the loads go in and out, Teamsters need to be pulling those trailers. We need clear language that protects our right to that work."
Teamsters at UPS Freight expect no excuses for a substandard contract this go around. They know subcontracting is a blight on our potential union power. All work at UPS Freight terminals needs to be seen as Teamster work.
Click here to have your say at UPSFreightTalk.org.
May 22, 2012: Subcontracting remains rampant throughout the UPS Freight system, and the International Union seems unwilling or incapable of protecting jobs.
In the next contract we need firm language on job protection, as good as in the National Master Freight Agreement. If ABF and YRC can do their road work with Teamster labor, why can't UPS?
The International union has again sent out a memo to local unions regarding the Dallas Local 745 grievance over subcontracting. The hearing has ended, briefs will be submitted by the union and company, and a decision is expected by July.
This is the only grievance we know that the union has arbitrated, and after two years, no result. In addition to real contract language banning subcontracting, we need real grievance procedure changes in the next contract.
May 22, 2012: UPS Freight Teamsters around the country wonder why the UPS Freight Truckload Division isn't part of the union.
Now that the clerks have been organized, it seems obvious that the TL section of the UPS Freight workforce would be the next target to bring into our union.
After all, the slogan for organizing at UPS has been "one company, one union" and these TL drivers can be seen in UPS Freight tractors and that’s the logo on their paychecks.
If you're a UPS Freight TL driver, we want to know your story and the issues you face.
Click here to contact TDU's UPS Freight Network or call (313) 842-2600.
Stay in touch. Have your say. Click here to visit UPSFreightTalk.org and sign up for email updates.
May 15, 2012: The UPS Freight National Grievance Panel meets next on June 5-8 in Providence, Rhode Island.
Members continue to be frustrated by the pitiful pace of the grievance procedure. In just one example, a grievance from Local 391 in North Carolina was filed in February 2010. That's over two years with no decision. It's clear that the next contract has to include a tighter timeline and penalties if members are to have their rights protected.
March 20, 2012: The UPS Freight National Grievance Committee met March 7-9 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, but the International Union only managed to win one (1) grievance at those hearings.
The committee deadlocked 12 cases. Under Article 7, Section 5c, the union must submit a deadlocked grievance to arbitration within ten days. However, working Teamsters are still waiting for a resolution of the lone grievance that has been taken to arbitration thus far. Another hearing for that arbitration is scheduled for April 25.
The union prevailed on only one (1) case – an Article 5, Section 1 grievance – and the grievant won 40 hours pay with no precedent established.
The committee found in favor of the company on six grievances. Two cases were referred back to the Company and Union for review. Another grievance was denied but the grievant was "allowed to return to part-time with no back pay." One case was deemed to have "no specific case...however, any specific case may be adjudicated in the future."
Four grievances were settled or withdrawn. Four more were "withdrawn with rights." Eight cases were postponed and 44 were put on committee hold.
So 24 cases were heard. And then another 60 didn't even get heard. And just one grievance was won, on a minor matter which set no precedent.
That's a lot of losses, deadlocks, and gibberish to win one small grievance. And a lot of union officials in Florida, too.
It's clear that UPS Freight Teamsters will never see any good results on grievances under this agreement, no matter how many times union and company officials head to Florida.
We need a plan to show we are ready and organized to win substantial improvements in the 2013 contract. Without real change, it will be the same rope-a-dope grievance panels for the next contract. Change is not going to come from Hoffa and Hall.
Get involved. Become part of the national network which is uniting members to demand real contact enforcement. UPS Freight Teamsters launched a website to discuss contract issues and strategies for winning a good contract next year. Click here to visit UPSFreightTalk.org.
February 17, 2012: The Westin Beach Resort will host the Teamster National UPS Freight Grievance Committee in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on March 7-9.
Twelve cases were carried over from previous meetings. Forty cases (many addressing subcontracting) remain on committee hold. Thirty grievances are listed as new cases. A number of these address subcontracting.
The next arbitration hearing on the Local 745 Dallas grievance on subcontracting is to be held April 25. This grievance has been delayed for over two years.
Life under the first contract negotiated in 2008 has led many UPS Freight Teamsters to understand that firm language has to be bargained in 2013 for an expedited grievance procedure.
February 8, 2012: UPS Freight Teamsters know they deserve a better contract.
Now they’re coming together to address subcontracting, work guarantees, and wages and organize to win a stronger contract in 2013.
UPS Freight Teamsters got more bad news in January. The arbitration to resolve an important subcontracting grievance won’t convene again until April 25.
That’s three years since the grievance was first filed in Dallas Local 745—three years of Teamster road jobs subcontracted away to nonunion carriers!
Make UPS Freight Deliver
Now concerned members are not just frustrated, they’re getting organized. They know there’s much work to be done to achieve a range of improvements before they’re ready to ratify an agreement in 2013.
UPS Freight can afford to deliver a better contract for working Teamsters.
The company made good profits for the first half of 2011 and told analysts they expected even better numbers going forward.
Contract bargaining will occur simultaneously with those for UPS Package which has also reported big profits in 2011. The Teamster bargaining teams are in a great position to deliver improvements in wages, benefits, job security and working conditions.
TDU is working with stewards and committed members to launch a grassroots campaign to win a solid contract at UPS Freight. Members have been meeting by conference calls and get-togethers to discuss contract issues and prepare proposals.
At a recent call, members discussed: company and board seniority rights; vacation language; addressing the excess of black out weeks; and rising co-pay costs on medical coverage.
Earlier discussions have addressed subcontracting, job classification work guarantees, recall language, 10 percent language, sick days, wages and other issues.
“These TDU conference calls have been a great place to talk with other UPS Freight Teamsters from around the country. We’re all facing the same issues and it puts us in a stronger position as a union to have concerned members talking about what needs doing,” commented Wilt Warren a city driver out of Portland Local 81.
“We need to reach out to other UPS Freight Teamsters and get them to help us organize a contract campaign.”
What do you think?
The UPS Freight contract expires in March 2013. UPS Freight Teamsters are building a network of members to have a voice in bargaining—and we want to hear from you.
What are the improvements you’d like to see in the next UPS Freight agreement? Let us know what you think.