March 19, 2007: Six months have passed since our union kicked off bargaining with UPS. Early bargaining has now lasted longer than the entire 2002 talks—and we’re still being kept in the dark.
Here's how you can help.
Our union has now been in intensive negotiations with the company for nearly three months. During that time, the IBT has issued just two bulletins. Each one has told us nothing, except when the next bargaining dates are. That’s not acceptable—not when our pensions, benefits, wages and workplace rights for the next five years are on the line.
Never before have Teamster members been kept this deep in the dark. Negotiations do not need to be held behind closed doors—unless there's a reason to hide what's being discussed.
March 30th Deadline Looms
In January, lead negotiator Ken Hall announced that he has no intention of meeting with the company past March 30. That’s two weeks away and Teamsters at UPS have not gotten a single meaningful report from our negotiators on
?The key issues that are being negotiated
?What progress has been made on language issues and where UPS is opposing the improvements we need
?What our union is demanding to protect and improve our pensions and benefits and what the company’s response has been
Reportedly, our union negotiating committee and UPS have not even exchanged proposals on pensions and healthcare. That’s strange because both Hall and General President Hoffa repeatedly pledged that, “We will tackle these critical issues before addressing other key issues such as work rules, safety and wages.” (President Hoffa, Teamsters Kick Off Negotiations for National UPS Contract, 9/19/2006).
No Info and No Action
UPS is making record profits and stockholders are pushing for an early settlement, preferably before the company’s 100-year anniversary on August 28. We have leverage to strengthen our pensions and our rights on the job on a host of issues: excessive overtime, subcontracting, fairness for 22.3s and part-timers, and more.
Management needs to see that members are informed and involved and ready to take action if we have to. Six months into the 2002 negotiations, our union had already held more than 50 rallies plus a nationwide truck caravan. And that was 2002, which by any measure was quiet compared to our contract campaign in 1997.
The current negotiations have now lasted longer than the entire 2002 talks—and the IBT has not sponsored a single rally, petition, sticker day or unity-building activity of any kind.
According to officials familiar with the talks, UPS is taking a hard line. This is all the more reason our union needs to be informing us about what’s going on and organizing actions at the hubs and centers to demonstrate to the company that we won’t settle short again.
Make UPS Deliver
The Make UPS Deliver campaign was launched to inform and unite UPS Teamsters to win the contract we deserve.
We’re prepared to get behind any campaign by the International Union to mobilize Teamsters at UPS and increase our bargaining leverage. But we can’t afford to wait for Hoffa and Hall. That’s why Make UPS Deliver will continue to build our rank-and-file campaign, to spread the word and to arm Teamsters with the information we need to win a strong contract.
We need your help building our information network. Sign your co-workers up to receive email updates. The bigger our network, the bigger the impact we can have.
"We can't sit back and leave it to Hoffa and Hall. Members need to be informed, united and involved. TDU's UPS network is our tool for making that happen."
Darwin Moore, Local 243 Steward, Detroit
Make UPS Deliver
Make UPS Deliver is a national network of UPS Teamsters working together to win the contract we deserve.
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February 27, 2007: UPS's record profits guarantee that our next contract will be the richest in Teamstser History. But we learned last time that money doesn't make the "Best Contract Ever." This time, we can't be fooled by the dollar signs.
UPS reported more good economic news last month. The money is there to pay to restore our benefits and address the many quality of worklife problems at Big Brown.
UPS reported a profit of $1.13 billion in the fourth quarter of 2006. The results were 7.5 percent better than 2005’s fourth quarter. Overall, UPS took in a record $47.55 billion in revenue and $4.2 billion in after-tax profits last year.
Brown’s profits are up by more than 70 percent under the “Best Contract (for UPS) Ever.”
“The best news about UPS is they have money,” General President Hoffa told representatives from every UPS local at a meeting of the two-person committee in October. Hoffa said that the 2002 contract was worth almost $10 billion and bragged, “We’re going to set a record this time.”
Unlike most Hoffa promises, that’s one that you can take to the bank. Given the company’s record profits, our next UPS contract is guaranteed to be the richest in Teamster history.
The question is will UPS put enough of its record profits on the table to end the cuts in Teamsters’ pensions and retiree healthcare—and improve our benefits for the future? And will we win the stronger contract language (and tougher enforcement) we need to resolve chronic problems like excessive overtime, supervisors working, more full-time jobs, and fairness for combo workers and part-timers?
That’s how we’ve got to measure any contract put before us for a vote.
If a contract offer falls short of these goals, why would we settle early? We’re going to have to live with our next contract for years to come.
If that takes bargaining through 2008 to win lasting solutions, that’s what we should do.
March 5, 2007: On Jan. 15, Local 728 proudly joined in the Martin Luther King Day march here in Atlanta, Dr. King’s home and also the headquarters of UPS.
It’s time for UPS to recognize the Martin Luther King holiday that our country celebrates, but too many corporations ignore. If we win this at UPS, we can take that win to lots of other Teamster employers.
One of UPS’s two big competitors, the Postal Service, already observes this holiday. If UPS were to come on board, pressure could then be put on FedEx to do the same. There would be no competitive disadvantage at all to UPS.
It’s time to recognize Dr. King and the nonviolent struggle for equality for all Americans. Furthermore, how long has it been since we won a single new holiday in our contract?
To our union negotiators: this is an easy one. Please do the right thing, and insist on the holiday in the UPS contract.
Local 728 Business Representative
Hit by a 30 percent pension cut, many New York Local 804 Teamsters feel it’s time to fight back.
Local 804 President and fund trustee Howie Redmond voted against the cuts, but never informed members that UPS management was seeking cuts.
“Local 804’s officers certainly knew we had a problem and that management wanted cuts. Why was that hidden from the members?” said Local 804 alternate steward Jim Reynolds. “Now they’re going to blame everyone but themselves. Respect and responsibility come from what is done, not what is said.”
“Local 804 officials have said ‘our pension is sacred’ so what’s happened is sacrilege,” Reynolds said.
The announcement was kept under wraps until Nov. 30, just after the Local 804 election and the International election. Could that be a coincidence?
Local 804 officers say the cuts affect them, too. True, but they don’t mention that they are covered by at least two pension plans plus a 401(k).
“Howie is on the national negotiating committee that right now is supposedly negotiating to protect our pensions. We’re always told how powerful he is,” Reynolds said. “But when our pensions were on the line, he and Hoffa and Hall came up empty-handed.”
“If Local 804 members want to reverse these cuts, we better stand up for ourselves and get involved,” Reynolds said. He suggests that members turn out in force for the union general meeting Sun., Dec. 17.
February 27, 2007: UPS is preparing to implement new technology that will monitor drivers like never before. With their new gadgets, the company won’t have to send a supervisor on your route to spy on your methods. Their new technology amounts to an electronic OJS.
As part of early bargaining, our Teamster negotiators have proposed strong language to protect drivers from discipline resulting from the new technology. Winning this new language is a must.
The company is preparing to mount new sensors on package cars that will detect:
- If the package car is moving when the seatbelt is unbuckled
- How hard the brakes have been applied
- How long the driver backed up on an individual stop (time and distance and location)
- How much idle time a package car has
- If the bulkhead door is open while the vehicle is moving
- If the truck is in motion when the DIAD is not mounted in the holder
Tracking Your Every Move
UPS is also testing new technology for the DIAD IV that will monitor where you are when you perform DIAD functions to determine if you are where you are supposed to be when you are performing that function.
Your DIAD will identify whether you are within a tenth of a mile of your delivery address when you scan a package, get a signature, or hit Stop/Complete. If you are more than a tenth of a mile away from your delivery address, then you will have to override in order to perform the function.
The company says this technology is to prevent misdeliveries. But it will give management a treasure chest of information they can use to harass us and to target drivers for discipline.
The company is claiming they have the right to unilaterally implement these changes by exploiting a loophole in the technological change language in our contract (Article 6, Section 4).
Management says its new spy-ware does not represent a “significant change in the work of the bargaining unit” so they don’t need to negotiate regarding the effects of the proposed changes.
We Can Win Protections in Bargaining
As part of early bargaining, our union has put proposals on the table to tighten up this loophole. They have proposed that technological change be defined as “any change in equipment or materials which affects the work of the bargaining unit.”
Our negotiators have also proposed new language that would prohibit the company from using information obtained solely from the DIAD, GPS or any monitoring technology as evidence that an employee violated the contract or any company policy.
This is the kind of strong language we need to protect ourselves from the company’s Big Brother spy tactics. Of course, the company will seek to water this language down.
Our National Negotiating Committee needs to alert members to the threat of this new technology and unite Teamsters to protect ourselves from unfair discipline. An update on the status of bargaining over new “Technological Change” language (Article 6) would be a good place to start.
Contact TDU or visit www.makeupsdeliver.org to see the contract language our National Negotiating Committee proposed to protect us from discipline from the company’s new spying technology.
February 27, 2007: Teamsters at UPS are building a national rank-and-file network to share information and unite members to Make UPS Deliver the contract we deserve. You can help.
Sign up for email updates. You can also register to post comments and swap opinions with other UPS Teamsters.
Spread the Word
Post and pass out contract updates where you work. Contact us and let us know you can be part of the Make UPS Deliver information network.
Have Your Say
What do you think we need to win in this contract—and how can we unite our fellow Teamsters to achieve our goals?
Visit www.MakeUPSDeliver.org or contact Teamsters for a Democratic Union today.
February 27, 2007: A group of UPS workers, with encouragement from management, is attempting to oust the Teamsters Union on a national scale. This outfit, the American Parcel Workers Association, is a wrong turn down a blind alley for Teamsters who want positive change.
The APWA leaders spread UPS corporate propaganda on our pensions. Check www.MakeUPSDeliver.org for the facts on this matter. The APWA advocates an anti-union “right to work state” posture, insisting that UPS workers should be able to decline to pay their union dues, sticking the rest of us with the bill. Their attorney’s firm advertises that they help corporations break unions and force health care concessions on workers. In short, they are against basic union principles.
The APWA has attracted the interest of a number of UPS Teamsters in the South who are frustrated with the Hoffa leadership and the pension cuts imposed by the trustees of the Central States Fund.
The APWA is doomed to fail because the majority of Teamsters are not going to vote out the Teamsters Union and leave behind their pensions, except for their vested rights. They are not going to give up union protection for an untested association.
But in the process, we are concerned that this organization can divert membership energy into a blind alley. Teamsters fed up with pension cuts and leaders who lie to them may head down that alley, instead of on a positive road for change.
If UPS Teamsters want change, and many do want change in our union, we have the tools to make it happen. First of all, we can elect our top IBT officials. James Hoffa was reelected Teamster president in November with 174,900 votes. There are 230,000 UPS Teamsters, and the number is growing. Do the math: UPS workers have the power to elect our top leaders. We can elect leaders in our local unions. And we have a right to vote by secret ballot, by majority rule, on our contract and contract supplements.
Are those hard to accomplish? You bet. But they are a hell of a lot easier than uniting 230,000 Teamsters to leave their union to end up with no protection.
It was Teamsters for a Democratic Union that fought for and won all these rights.
If Teamsters had been distracted into anti-union efforts like the APWA, we never would have won the right to elect our top leaders or majority rule on our contract votes, or 25-and-out; we would not have won our 1997 strike.
We respect the right of all Teamsters to consider any option. Check out the facts for yourself. If you want positive change, the right course is Teamsters for a Democratic Union, a movement that is 100 percent Teamster, 100 percent noncorruptible, and with a proven track record of positive victories.
January 26, 2007: In 2002 UPS made record after tax profits of $2.4 billion, the most of any transport corporation in the world. That was when the “Best Contract Ever” was signed between Hoffa and management. But by 2005 those after-tax profits jumped 62 percent to $3.9 billion, and in 2006, UPS’s after-tax profit exceeded $4 billion for the first time ever.
An increase of over 70 percent during this contract in profits. During that same time Teamsters in the Western Conference, Central States, New England, New York City and elsewhere didn’t see a 70 percent pension increase, instead they saw their pension accrual cut. In the Central States Fund, retiree health care is practically gone. An increase in corporate contributions could fix that, and restore our good benefits.
During that same time, the base wage for UPS part-timers remained $8.50. That wage was frozen in the 2002 contract, and has gone up just 50 cents in 25 years! Some 29 states have minimum wages above the federal level, and some of them could soon pass up our base part-time wage.
Net profits of $4 billion. That’s about $20,000 per year for each part-time and full-time Teamster. That’s more than many part-timers make in a year. A small fraction of that $20,000 could fix a lot of contract problems.