National Panels Set
January 18, 2010: The first UPS national panel will be in Ft. Lauderdale, March 1-3, at the Westin Beach Resort. The other panels are scheduled for June 7-9 and Oct. 11-13, locations to be announced.
TDU will make the docket and decisions available online for members.
UPS Projects Higher-than-Advertised Profits
January 18, 2010: Management spent last year crying that the company was losing money. But as Teamster Voice goes to press, the company has told investors that fourth quarter profits per share will be 12 to 29 percent higher than previously announced.
After taxes, UPS made $1.4 billion in profit in the first nine months of 2009 alone. Brown will announce its 2009 profit numbers on Feb. 2. TDU will post the info online at www.tdu.org.
UPS to Field Test New DIAD
January 18, 2010: UPS will start field-testing its latest DIAD later this year. The DIAD V is about half the size and weight of the current version. Brown has partnered with Honeywell to add new bells and whistles, some small and some that may dramatically change life at UPS—especially when combined with other new technology like telematics.
DIAD V will include a color, auto-focus, flash camera to use for proof-of-delivery. (Hopefully, it will also help drivers document when supervisors are handling packages and doing our work!)
The new DIAD also has a color display and much more memory. UPS says it will be able to use DIAD to download training videos to all drivers simultaneously. More ominously the company says future applications will include “maps” and “navigation.”
Teamsters need to be aware. Some aspects of new technology make our jobs easier. But management also has another agenda. They want to dumb down our jobs to try exert more control over drivers and make us more replaceable.
Telematics technology lets management track where we’re driving. Our DIADS may soon tell us where to drive.
The best protection for UPS drivers has always been to follow the methods and work at a safe and even pace. That will become even more necessary as management rolls out new technology.
Online Resources at www.TDU.org/upstoolbox
January 18, 2010: Management is squeezing package drivers more than ever. TDU arms UPS Teamsters with the information we need to protect ourselves. Read these online resources at www.tdu.org/upstoolbox. Or call TDU at 313-842-2600.
- Using Daily Log Books: Keeping track of your day can give you back up if you’re facing production harassment or accused of stealing time—and it can help back off management too. Many UPS Teamsters use TDU’s Daily Log Book.
- Working Safe, Working Smart: UPS management is laying off drivers, adding stops to routes, and pushing package car drivers to increase production more than ever. Following UPS’s methods is the best way to protect yourself.
- Fighting Discipline for Production: Our union contract does not recognize the SPORH or any other production number. But that doesn’t stop UPS management from trying to use SPORH’s as a basis for discipline. Find out how to protect yourself—and other Teamsters—if management comes after you for production.
- New Technology Tracks Drivers’ Every Move: UPS is implementing new technology that allows management to monitor drivers like never before. Telematics combines data from the DIAD, GPS and more than 200 sensors mounted on the package car. It amounts to a daily OJS without a manager ever getting in your truck.
No Member Vote: Chicago Locals 714 & 726 Become Local 700
February 1, 2010: The Hoffa administration has revoked the charters of Chicago Locals 714 and 726, and created a new Local 700 for Chicagoland public sector Teamsters.
Members were not given a vote; they simply got a letter announcing the switch.
Rumors had circulated that a change was imminent. But members thought they would have the right to vote on any merger or change to their locals.
The Teamster Constitution requires a membership vote when one local is merged into another. By revoking the charters, Hoffa was able to subvert this membership right. The “new” local will continue under the trusteeship of Joint Council 25 President John Coli. Both locals were already under trusteeship.
Creating Local 700 with the continued trusteeship gives Hoffa and Coli another 18 months to get their people in place. If they expect to win the support of the members, the assigned trustees and union staff need to be a lot more available and accountable when it comes to enforcing our contract. Up to this point, that hasn’t been the case.
Appointments to the GEB Change Faces But Not Much Else
January 18, 2010: The newest appointee to the General Executive Board (GEB) of the Teamsters Union is Al Mixon, of Cleveland. There have been five vacancies in the union’s top body in the past year, providing an opportunity to add some innovative and diverse leadership, but Hoffa has for the most part appointed more of the in-crowd.
Mixon replaces Carroll Haynes of New York, who retired as head of Local 237 in 2007, but held on to his top post until recently. Mixon was first hired in Cleveland by Jackie Presser, who later became IBT president and was indicted for racketeering in Local 507. Mixon became the principal officer of Local 507 in 2003 and serves as the chairman of the Teamster National Black Caucus; he is presently the only African American on the 26-member GEB.
Other 2009 GEB appointees were Rome Aloise of Oakland Calif., who assumed the positions of his retiring brother in law, Chuck Mack, and Brad Slawson of Minneapolis, who replaced the retiring Cheryl Johnson. With Johnson’s retirement, there are no women as voting members of the GEB.
Two other 2009 GEB vacancies remain unfilled. Walt Lytle, of Ft. Wayne, Ind., and Jim Santangelo, of Los Angeles, recently retired. Santangelo departed after TDU revealed that the union paid $500,000 to secretly settle a sexual harassment lawsuit involving him.
Vermont Bus Drivers Organize for Better Contract
January 22, 2010: Teamster bus drivers are taking a new route to a better contract in 2010.
They’re organizing a rank-and-file contract campaign to win higher pay, more affordable health benefits, and more rights on the job.
Vermont Local 597 represents 70 drivers and mechanics who work for the Chittenden County Transportation Authority (CCTA). Their contracts don’t expire until June 30. But members are getting an early start this time around.
Concerned drivers started meeting last year to talk about the problems with their contract and what could be done about them. Those meetings at a local diner turned into the “Sunday Breakfast Club”—a committee dedicated to winning a strong contract by informing and uniting the members.
“In unity, there’s strength,” said driver Scott Ranney.
“The more the members get involved and the more prepared we are, the better our contract will be,” said driver Chuck Norris-Brown.
As a first step, the Breakfast Club passed out a contract survey to members to rate their top issues and concerns.
“We went around to every driver and mechanic. Eighty percent of the members filled out the surveys,” Norris-Brown said.
Protecting members from unfair discipline, winning better wages and more affordable health benefits, and relief from split shifts and six-day work weeks are some of the issues that topped the list.
“Now we’re going through the contract article by article to identify language changes to address members’ issues,” said shop steward Mike Walker, who will serve on the bargaining committee.
Local 597 will hold official proposal meetings sometime in February or March.
“Our contract doesn’t expire until June 30. This is the most prepared we’ve ever been this early in the process. Working together—drivers, mechanics, our local union and community supporters—we can win a better contract and a better future at CCTA,” said driver Sherry Siebenaler.
Getting Members Involved
“We went around to every driver and mechanic. Eighty percent of the members filled out the surveys.
“The more the members get involved and the more prepared we are, the better our contract will be.”
Chuck Norris-Brown, Local 597 CCTA Bus Driver, Burlington
Rebuilding Teamster Power in 2010
Are you satisfied with the direction our union is headed in? Teamsters are uniting across our union to change course and rebuild Teamster Power in 2010.
“UPS Teamsters in Local 804 have been busy rebuilding Teamster Power. First, we voted down a weak contract, reversed pension cuts and saved 25 & Out. And last month, we elected a new leadership team.
“We won these victories because of the courage and commitment of Local 804 Teamsters. But none of it would have happened without TDU.
“TDU gave us information about our contracts and benefits that we couldn’t get from our own union. TDU helped us learn successful tactics for standing up to management and organizing for change.
“TDU gives Teamster members the tools we need to rebuild union power. That’s why I’ve been a proud TDU member for more than 20 years.
“If you want a stronger Teamsters Union, get informed and get involved. And join TDU today.”
Jim Reynolds, Local 804 Secretary-Treasurer, New York
Time to Organize
“YRC Teamsters have taken a 15 percent pay cut and pension freeze. The company has us running routes over each other. The union should be organizing us to stick together—but our leaders are asleep at the wheel.
“In Memphis, we’re meeting to bring together Teamsters who see the problems facing our union and want to change it. 2010 is the year to get active and rebuild our union.”
Louis Armstrong, YRC Local 667, Memphis
Don’t Be in the Dark
“You can’t beat the information on what’s going in our union that we get in Teamster Voice.
“In the South, our locals are spread out and many of them keep their members in the dark. Teamster Voice keeps us informed and helps educate younger workers on how our union works and how to organize.
“I’ve been getting out my bundle to other UPS workers whenever I can for over two years now. It’s a great tool to talk with other Teamsters.”
James McLeod, UPS Local 71, Florence, S.C.
Help do your part to rebuild Teamster Power. Click here to join TDU today.
Teamsters Still Fighting for The Dream
January 18, 2010: This month our nation and Teamster members remember and celebrate the work of Dr. Martin Luther King and countless other civil rights activists.
But for many Teamsters, Dr. King’s fight continues.
Thousands of Teamsters still face discrimination, even at some of the biggest Teamster employers. Just ask UPS Teamsters in Lumberton in rural eastern North Carolina.
UPS management targeted Black and Native American drivers and imposed harsher discipline on these drivers.
UPS drivers got organized and they filed a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Their charge is now being investigated.
UPS isn’t alone. On Dec. 10, the EEOC filed suit against YRC. They charged that that Black Teamsters at the Chicago Ridge terminal faced stricter discipline and got the worst job assignments.
Workers at Chicago Ridge even saw a hangman’s noose and racist graffiti put up in the terminal.
The Right to Organize
Dr. King died fighting for workers’ right to organize in Memphis.
But the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) has been held up in Congress by corporate lobbyists and weak politicians.
The new law would make it easier for workers who want a union to organize, and it would impose harsher penalties on employers who break the law and harass or fire union supporters.
Our union supports the Employee Free Choice Act. Passing EFCA would honor what Dr. King died fighting for—and help hundreds of thousands of workers exercise their right to organize.
“Martin Luther King said you have to stand up for the right thing, even if it’s not popular,” said Nichele Fulmore, a Lumberton Teamster in Local 391.
“We still have people who don’t want to do the right thing—in management and also in this union. They’re happy when members are divided. As rank and filers we must stand up for what is right even if this means standing up to union leaders. Remember Dr. King also said, ‘An injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’”
Martin Luther King’s Fight for Worker Rights
In 1968, two Memphis garbage workers were crushed to death by a faulty garbage truck compressor.
Thousands of Black garbage workers went on strike. The city of Memphis refused to recognize their union or negotiate. Trash piled up.
With signs saying “I Am A Man,” Memphis workers brought together a broad coalition of labor, religious, and community members and leaders—including Dr. Martin Luther King.
On April 3, King delivered a powerful speech to the striking workers and called for a mass march of strikers and community supporters. The next day he was shot and killed.
The workers held their march. The city gave in to strikers’ demands, and the workers in Memphis won the right to organize and have a union contract.
You can listen to King’s speech and read an account of the strike here.
A Loophole Big Enough to Drive a Truck Through
January 15, 2010: Teamsters at UPS Freight say subcontracting is rampant while members are laid off.
TDU spoke to Teamsters around the country for this special report on protecting our contract and our jobs at UPS Freight.
Drivers from Chicago, Kansas City, Minneapolis, Memphis, New Jersey, Reno and many more places report seeing freight moving in and out on nonunion trailers daily.
The problem is in the company’s use of Article 44. Under the article, management can subcontract out runs that do not have loads returning to the home domicile.
But our report finds that the company is circumventing this language and subcontracting runs that should go to Teamsters.
“UPS Freight management is using the one-way loophole in Article 44 and driving load after load straight through it,” commented G.W. Owensby, a road driver out of Kansas City Local 41.
Here are a few of the findings from our survey:
- In Memphis, drivers report that subcontractor J&J Express is regularly running at least 20 trailers.
- At the Chicago South Holland terminal, the company has cut runs, and given the work to Covenant, Bison and Transport America. “We could probably add 6-12 bids between Chicago and Minneapolis if we could get rid of the subcontracting,” said a Local 710 road driver there.
- In Lexington, Ky., the company has practically eliminated extra-board wild work. Previously, Lexington drivers who were dispatched on one-way runs could pick up extra runs from their destination terminal to another terminal. Now this work is going to subcontractors. At least two road drivers are running only one or no runs a week because of the decrease in work. Last year the company laid off seven road drivers for five months—while subcontractors did their work.
- In Reno, four line runs have been replaced with outside carriers like CRST and Schneider.
- In North Carolina, the company has replaced scheduled runs with subcontractors and knocked road drivers to the dock.
- In Louisville, management was using subcontractors for runs to Columbus with freight bound to Newburgh, N.Y. Management claimed there was no return freight. Drivers investigated the claim and discovered the company was diverting freight bound to Louisville to Lexington, then sending the freight back to Louisville.
Protect Teamster Jobs
The company is stretching the limits of Article 44. Our union has the power to stop the worst abuses and protect Teamster jobs.
Article 44 contains the following language that drivers can use to protect jobs:
“However, if sufficient freight is generated in the future to provide loads returning to the home domicile, the run shall be performed by members of the bargaining unit.”
If the company is violating Article 44 in your area, your first step is to gather the evidence. Document the trailer numbers and the loads that are being handled by subcontractors on both inbound and outbound freight. Once you have evidence, file a grievance. Your union representative can request more information from the company, including freight manifests from your terminal and the inbound and outbound terminals where the subcontractors are coming from or headed to.
Work with your union rep to pull together all the available evidence and dismantle the company’s case.
Drivers from a number of locals have filed grievances on this issue. Some are slated to be heard at the March national grievance panel.
Our goal is preserving and growing good Teamster jobs. If we don’t enforce this language now, UPS management will keep running all over us.
TDU is organizing a network among UPS Freight Teamsters. To sign on or tell us more about subcontracting or other issues at your terminal, call (313) 842-2600 or click here.