March 25, 2011: Teamster members are building local campaign committees to spread the word and unite Teamsters to vote for new leadership and a new direction for our union.
Sandy Pope has been on the road winning Teamsters over.
“Some of the members who came to our event were coming in with an open mind,” said Bob Slezak, who helped pull together a meet-the-candidate event in Eastern Mass. “But they left Sandy supporters.”
March 25, 2011: Sandy Pope received a standing ovation from more than 200 Teamsters at a Candidates’ Forum hosted by Wisconsin Local 344 on March 20.
Hoffa ducked the debate and asked to send running mate Ken Hall as his stand-in. At the last minute, Hall also backed out, saying he had urgent business in his local union.
“Hoffa’s record is so bad even his stand-ins need stand-ins,” said Sandy Pope.
“Hoffa has never backed out of a campaign fundraiser because of an emergency. But when it’s time to face the music with Teamster members, Hoffa is always a no-show. Given his record, it’s hard to blame him,” Pope said.
Third candidate Fred Gegare also attended the Candidates’ Forum. When the one-hour time limit expired, members voted to extend the event.
During the entire two-hour forum, not a single member stood up to defend the Hoffa-Hall record.
Local 344 represents UPS Teamsters, as well as other delivery drivers and Teamsters across Wisconsin.
Here’s a sample of Sandy’s remarks from the forum.
Since the founding of Teamsters for a Democratic Union in 1976, TDU fought to win the Right to Vote for delegates to Teamster Conventions. In 1991, we secured that right.
Prior to that time, local officials were automatically the delegates. But for the first time in 1991, delegates were elected. And it made an immediate difference.
At the 1991 Teamster Convention in Orlando, Florida, there were a number of reform delegates, and TDU had armed them with knowledge about how the Convention would operate and what their rights were.
They were a minority of the Convention, but outspoken, and with the Right to Vote for International officers coming up months later that same year, the Old Guard became nervous. As a result:
- The Convention adopted an amendment (prepared by TDU) to the Teamster Constitution, giving members the Right to Vote on supplements and riders to national contract. TDU delegates used a political split among old guard officials to good advantage.
- The Convention adopted a Resolution to sell off the union’s corporate jets, which were used to fly top officials around, including to golf outings.
- The Convention delegates nominated Ron Carey for run for General President. He got 15 percent of the delegate vote, but later in 1991 took 50 percent of the rank-and-file vote to easily win against two old-guard opponents.
The old guard hated this new democracy. Their leaders, such as Rome Aloise (currently an International vice president) and John Williams (currently the IBT Warehouse Director) spoke to the Convention to denounce the Right to Vote for delegates and moved to get rid of it, but it was protected by the Consent Order.
The 1991 Convention was one of those turning points in Teamster history which TDU members are justly proud of.
In 2011, TDU is celebrating 35 years of fighting for a stronger union.
We’ll highlight different moments in TDU’s history in upcoming issues of Teamster Voice.
March 25, 2011: While members wait for action, the company is still driving load after load through the subcontracting loophole.
Meeting in Ft. Lauderdale March 9-11, the Teamsters National UPS Freight Grievance Panel addressed 31 grievances.
Three pertained to Article 44 subcontracting and were denied. All other Article 44 grievances remained on “committee hold.”Two grievances addressing sleeper bid issues were deadlocked.
Over all, the grievant and union won six grievances, the company won ten, seven were deadlocked, and five were referred back.
Deadlocked grievances go to Ken Hall and the IBT to determine whether or not to take them to arbitration. Nearly three years into the contract, there have been no arbitration decisions related to deadlocked UPS Freight grievances.
You can read the Teamsters National UPS Freight Grievance Committee Minutes at www.TDU.org, or call TDU to get a copy.
While members wait for any union action, UPS Freight management continues to drive load after load right through the Article 44 subcontracting loophole.
March 25, 2011: For three years 44,000 full-time UPS workers in the Central and Southern regions and the Carolinas have been in a pension plan which is so secretive that it didn’t even have a website. Now it does.
UPSers formerly in the Central States plan can now go here and, by using their company ID #, access their own pension information on this company-run site. That’s an improvement.
The plan is still highly secretive, with no financial reports for members.
But we do know it is the cheapest pension plan which full-time UPSers participate in. If a UPS Teamster takes a leave from UPS to work for the union, the union pays UPS just $25 per day to cover the cost of this plan. But in the East and West and Chicago, and in other pension plans, UPS pays at least $60 per day toward UPSers pensions.
And UPS Teamsters in the West, in New York, in New England, Washington D.C. and elsewhere get better pensions.
April 6, 2011: UPS is expanding its use of keyless package cars.
The new technology reduces some hassles for drivers—but the company’s real goal is increasing stop counts.
UPS is expanding its use of a new keyless ignition and entry system. Here’s how it works.
Drivers have a fob device clipped to their belt similar to a remote starter for a car.
Hitting a green button once on the dash starts diagnostics on the engine. Holding the button starts the engine.
Hitting the red button on the dash one time stops the engine. Hitting it a second time unlocks the bulkhead door. The bulkhead door has been fitted with a spring that opens it when unlocked. The driver can also hold the fob button to open the bulkhead door.
The rear door is opened by hitting the fob twice, which unlocks a magnetic lock. The driver has eight seconds to turn the handle and open the door.
Drivers report the new technology can be quirky—especially on older trucks and in bad weather.
In case of malfunction, the contingency plan is to call the auto shop at the building. The shop calls Atlanta for a code that unlocks a lock box on the truck where there are keys to runs things the old-fashioned way.
Even the fail-safe code has been known to malfunction—leaving the driver in the lurch.
Driving Up Stop Counts
The new technology has its ups and downs.
“On the plus side, the new FOB system keeps that annoying key off our fingers, which is better for lifting packages. And there’s less repetition in constantly putting the key in the bulkhead door,” says Matt Taibi, a driver and Providence Local 251 Teamster.
“But UPS’ real aim is to reduce the time we spend on these tasks and, you guessed it, to add more stops to drivers. When they introduced the technology in my building, management told us it should increase our stop count by 10 stops a day. Stop counts are definitely up,” Taibi said.
Stop Counts Are Up
“On the plus side, the new FOB system keeps that annoying key off our fingers, which is better for lifting packages.
“But UPS’ real aim is to reduce the time we spend on these tasks and add more stops to drivers. When they introduced the technology in my building, management told us it should increase our stop count by 10 stops a day. Stop counts are definitely up.”
Matt Taibi, UPS Package Driver, Local 251, Rhode Island
March 25, 2011: UPS CEO Scott Davis made $10.7 million last year, a 72 percent hike over his total compensation for 2009.
Davis’s pay has quadrupled since 2007. Over the same period, the Hoffa administration has given Davis record givebacks at the bargaining table.
UPS paid Davis $1 million in base salary plus a $232,000 cash bonus. Most of the rest of Davis’s compensation was $7.8 million in stock awards. The estimated value of Davis’s pension grew by $1.2 million. Davis got another $437,514 in option awards.
All these figures come from a proxy statement filed by UPS with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
March 25, 2011: UPS announced that profits soared to $5.8 billion after taxes in 2010. Brown’s profits hit $1.8 billion for the fourth quarter, including peak. In all, the company had $49.8 billion of revenue for the year.
The corporation’s profits went up much faster than its revenue—a 48 percent increase in profits, compared to an eight percent rise in revenue. Why? Because UPS is squeezing more profit out of each employee by cutting and combining routes, layoffs, production harassment, supervisors working, 9.5 violations.
Profits are up but our working conditions and contract enforcement are down.
UPS says they will make even more money this year. The company is forecasting record profits.
March 25, 2011: UPS paid $1.3 million to settle legal charges that the company knowingly put package cars in “serious disrepair” on the roads in New York State.
The investigation centered on nearly 150 package cars with cracked or rotted frames that were not taken out of service.
Brown paid $1.3 million in penalties, fines and costs, and agreed to have an independent inspector conduct vehicle inspections of UPS trucks in New York for the next five years.
“UPS knowingly endangered not only the lives of their own employees but the lives of the driving public,” said New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
March 25, 2011: As we go to press in late March, the shake-up in the unionized carhaul industry continues.
Union carriers Jack Cooper and Cassens have been awarded a lot of Allied’s traffic. Jack Cooper is picking up the GM work, and Cassens the Chrysler work. Both are scrambling to get enough trucks in place to haul the traffic, and using drive-away for some local work.
Allied, previously the largest North American vehicle carrier, initiated the shake up when they informed GM and Chrysler in mid-March that they would not haul any more of their cars, in a move to force higher rates from the manufacturers. Allied got a new five-year contract with Ford, and hopes to get more Ford work.
The International Union has been almost invisible during this crisis. As of this writing, there is no action plan to protect union jobs, or even any communication with members.
The joint committee met on March 21 and made a number of seniority rulings regarding Allied drivers who will be going to work for Cassens or Jack Cooper at a number of locations.
In Canada, hundreds of Allied drivers have been paid for a week so far to not work, as cars pile up at two GM plants and the Windsor Chrysler plant.
A best-case scenario may be that Allied survives as a mostly-Ford carrier, Jack Cooper hauling mostly GM, and Cassens mostly Chrysler, with all having a slice of the import traffic.
However already at some smaller terminals nonunion outfits have been awarded some of the former Allied work. The danger is that this shake up could expand the nonunion sector.