Aggressive Contract Proposals Needed for UPS Contract
October 18, 2006. We all have high hopes for improvements in our UPS contract, but an over-arching goal has to be to strengthen our union and secure our future. With that in mind, concerned UPS members and leaders are looking at what it will take in our contract to undo problems in the current contract, and protect our future on the job and in retirement.
Secure our Pension & Health Benefits
- Provide sufficient funding to strengthen our funds and undo the pension cuts of the past two years.
- End the benefit cuts and restore 25- and 30-and-out to Central States Teamsters.
- Bring all Teamsters into the union health and pension funds. (End the practice in the Central States Fund of keeping part-timers, the youngest and healthiest participants, in separate employer funds.)
Health and Welfare
- Maintenance of benefits (as already in place in the West).
- Protect our future with unionization of UPS.
- Provide a fair “card-check” and neutrality agreement for UPS Freight and all nonunion subsidiaries, to bring tens of thousands of UPSers into our union and our pension plans.
Wages and Pay Progression
- Raise part-time starting rates to a minimum of $12.50 per hour.
- Reduce progressions and the number of pay tiers by bringing all employees up to union scale within six months.
End Excessive Overtime
- Double time for all hours worked over ten per day.
- Minimum of five eight-hour days per month, if requested.
- Automatic penalty of double time for all hours worked if eight-hour request denied.
- Eliminate “complete assignment” from overtime relief language.
- Management must provide adequate cover help to accommodate overtime release requests (other drivers will not be forced to pay the price for overtime accommodation).
- Mechanism in place to require hiring more drivers in centers with excessive overtime.
End Subcontracting our Jobs
- Automatic penalties of triple pay for subcontracting.
- Forbid non-bargaining unit employees from delivering packages to UPS facilities within the same shipping zone.
Improve and Increase 22.3 Jobs
- Upgrade pay of combo positions to reach package-car rate during the life of the new agreement.
- Part-timers not forced from their preferred job as a result of full-time job creation.
- Back pay and penalties if full-time jobs are not bid and filled by July 31 of each year.
- Create 3,000 new 22.3 jobs per year, with no years skipped as was done in the current contract.
Protect Against Unfair Production Standards
- Management must not post or publicly distribute production related information about individuals or groups.
Restrictions on Supervisors Working
- Limit supervisors doing bargaining work for training purposes to a maximum of one hour.
- Triple-time penalties paid to grievant or highest seniority employee if no grievant named, minimum of one hour pay for each incident of supervisor working.
- Right to strike over deadlocked grievances. Bring the “hammer” in the freight contract to the UPS contract.
BNA Daily Labor Report
October 2, 2006. Drivers for FedEx Home Delivery are statutory employees of the company and not independent contractors, a National Labor Relations Board regional director ruled Sept. 20, ordering a union representation election sought by the Teamsters union at two Massachusetts locations (FedEx Home Delivery & Teamsters Local 24, NLRB Cases 1-RC-22034, 22035, 9/20/06).
The decision is the latest in a string of victories before various tribunals around the country by FedEx Home Delivery drivers contesting what they consider illegal misclassification as independent contractors.
It also is the fourth recent decision by an NLRB regional director concluding that FedEx Home Delivery drivers should be classified as employees.
"The facts adduced in this case are remarkably similar to those in the above cases, and, accordingly, do not warrant a departure from the results in those cases," wrote NLRB Region 1 Director Rosemary Pye.
The board has affirmed the findings by regional directors concerning drivers in New Jersey in 2004 and 2005 and in Northboro, Mass., in 2006.
FedEx Ground, the parent of FedEx Delivery, in a statement, said the decision "is not surprising or inconsistent" with Pye's earlier ruling, which the company is appealing. "Our contractors have shown us repeatedly that they do not want third-party representation as we currently have no unionized facilities," it added.
Galen Munroe, a spokesman for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, said the election ordered in January in Northboro has been postponed indefinitely because of pending unfair labor practice charges. The Teamsters lost one of the New Jersey elections in a unit that included other workers in addition to drivers, while the other election involved an independent union, he said.
In addition to the NLRB rulings, advocates for FedEx drivers are pursuing a nationwide class action lawsuit, currently in the discovery stage, consolidating cases from around the country (In re FedEx Ground Package Sys. Inc., Employment Practices Litigation, N.D. Ind., No. 03:05-MD-527-RM, filed 8/10/05).
Other rulings upholding the employee status of drivers, according to attorneys for the drivers, include a recent court decision in California, Internal Revenue Service rulings in Wisconsin and Missouri, and unemployment agency rulings in various states, including a Massachusetts case in August (163 DLR A-4, 8/23/06 ).
FedEx Home Established in 1998
FedEx Home Delivery was established in 1998 when the parent company acquired Roadway Package Systems Inc. Almost all of the subsidiary's drivers are classified as independent contractors, while drivers for the parent company are classified as employees.
The units found appropriate by Pye are 24 drivers at a company terminal in Wilmington, Mass., and 16 drivers at a separate annex terminal, also in Wilmington.
In her decision, Pye noted that the company "exercises substantial control" over how drivers perform their jobs. Although drivers own their own trucks, the vehicles must display a company logo and drivers must wear a company uniform. The company "unilaterally establishes the rates of compensation," she found.
Factors cited by the company--drivers' responsibility for their vehicles, flexibility in scheduling, absence of fringe benefits, and lack of withholding by the company--are insufficient to demonstrate independent contractor status, she concluded.
By Rick Valliere
Major IBT Employers Back Hoffa
October 18, 2006. Give UPS management credit. When they decided to back Hoffa, they didn’t go halfway.
Not only did UPS management give Hoffa unlimited access to campaign inside their largest facility, the UPS Worldport hub in Louisville: UPS management literally chauffeured Hoffa around the grounds.
Management drove Hoffa and his entourage from building to building in a company van so he could campaign throughout the facility on Oct. 13, just as ballots were arriving in Louisville.
Are these the actions of a company that is worried about having to face Hoffa across the bargaining table—or a sign that UPS is eager for another ‘Best Contract Ever?’
UPS management’s warmth toward Hoffa has a long history. When Hoffa first ran for office, a UPS lobbyist was caught donating cash to his campaign. After he took office, industry analysts declared that UPS was “in love with Hoffa” (Source: Traffic World).
Before the 2002 contract talks, UPS spokesperson Norman Black told the media that, “We are certainly not dreading or fearing negotiations or anything like that. The Teamsters under its current leadership has shown a willingness to work with us…We’re very confident.”
UPS Teamsters found out why after Hoffa gave management a six-year deal that delivered pension cuts and toothless protection from excessive overtime and supervisors working. They’ve built up nonunion subsidiaries under Hoffa’s nose.
Leedham Campaign Strikes Back
After Hoffa got the Louisville tour, the Leedham Campaign immediately filed an election protest over the company’s illegal contribution to the Hoffa Campaign.
As a result, UPS was forced to give Secretary-Treasurer candidate Sandy Pope equal access to the Worldport hub. For breaking the rules, the Hoffa Campaign had to pay for Pope’s airfare to Louisville.
Pope and running mate Mark Huckleberry campaigned at Worldport on Oct. 16. Pope told Convoy, “We had a fantastic response. Teamsters know what it means when management supports Hoffa.”
UPS is far from the only employer that has been campaigning with Hoffa. Safeway, Yellow-Roadway, and Dial Corporation are just some of the other Teamster employers that have been caught supporting Hoffa.
Mitchell’s divinity has also been noted as he changes work rules, seniority rights, and contract language with impunity. It is rumored that he walks on water in his spare time! Whether divine authority or divine stupidity, Mitchell’s above the law management style alienates employees, reduces productivity, and subjects UPS to liability. —Michael A. Savwoir, Local 41, Kansas City
shifter jobs with combo positions is out of the question. It is also a
violation of Article 22.3 of the contract, which states that new full-time
jobs will be created out of “existing part-time” positions. At least one
other local in Philly has signed off on the deal. UPS management continues to try new ways to undermine the creation of full-time jobs, which is no surprise, but the lack of coordination from the IBT in countering these attacks continues to be a factor making it harder for members to defend rights and conditions.
While the new jobs will be union, as they should be, the agreement does not contain any guarantee that many of the 1,500 positions will be full-time.
The UPS Cartage operation is much more akin to typical freight work with the majority of volume on pallets and handled by fork lift. Through the years the IBT has repeatedly rejected efforts by freight companies to create part-time jobs. Freight members struck in 1994 to stop the “part-timerization” of freight jobs. UPS members struck in 1997 and won the creation of 10,000 full-time jobs at UPS. Local 89 and the IBT appear now to be reversing the trend.
The question becomes what, if anything, did Local 89 and the IBT choose to give up in order to make the 1,500 new jobs union?
It appears that Local 89 has given up some other protections. Formerly, members have had the right to bid on positions twice yearly. That will be restricted by new language that says that if you choose not to stay in a new position , you will not be considered for other positions. The tryout period for new positions is also reduced. Before, members had ten days to make a decision about whether to stay with a new position or return to their old job. Now they will have only five days.
This was supposedly in exchange for the creation of a handful of day-time combo positions (that will come about when the 2006 complement of full-time positions is created in Louisville).
Also given up was a provision that limited the number of six-hour jobs at the Louisville Air Hub to a total of 681. While many people prefer the six hour positions to three hour jobs, they are another way for UPS to avoid creating good, full-time positions at higher rates of pay. For every two new six-hour jobs created the company is supposed to create one full-time position. Time will tell how many full-time jobs actually come about. The number of three-hour positions UPS can use is unlimited.
Give and give and give and UPS gets 1,500 low-paid, part-time jobs at a new operation that it is eager to get up and running (and in the lucrative air operation). And by the way, every time that UPS expands its part-time job numbers it undermines the goal inherent in the full-time job creation of increasing the percentage of good, full-time jobs at UPS.
When exactly will the IBT and Hoffa stop giving and start using our union’s power to win real gains and protections?
April 22, 2006. Many Teamsters express concern when asked for their reaction to the International Union’s recent statements about early contract talks with UPS.
Broken promises, the benefit cuts, the lack of contract enforcement—these and other concerns are front and center for members.
And if UPS has agreed to the talks, as they most certainly have if the IBT
has floated the idea publicly,what is in it for them? Whatever
else they have up their sleeve, an early contract in 2006 or early 2007 would avoid any potential rancor during UPS’s 100th anniversary in 2007, and would be a major gift to UPS. Member concern may be justified but Teamsters know it won’t bring about change.
We need to be making demands on Hoffa and building pressure for major contract improvements—whether the contract comes around in 2008 or earlier.
Toward that end TDU has asked some veteran UPS Teamsters to speak out on the early contact idea and its ramifications.
Convoy invites you to weigh in on the discussion. Contact tdu [at] tdu.org or call (313) 842-2600 to share your thoughts on early bargaining.
"So why did Hoffa's negotiating committee settle the Central Region contract supplement, the largest in the UPS contract, without any significant gains and even with some give-backs?!
The union put fifty (50) proposals on the bargaining table in the Central Region, but came back empty handed. These proposals included more sick days (some regions have more than the Central), proposals to deal with excessive overtime, to improve the grievance procedure, and lots more.
Nothing was won.
Why would our union officials allow the probation period for full-time employees to be extended five days? Why would they allow a take-away of seniority to deny laid off feeder drivers the right to bump the junior employee?
Instead of eliminating the terrible clause in this supplement that allows UPS to immediately fire any employee at any time for "other serious offenses," why did our union leaders allow the company to add more language, so they can suspend or fire?
The scorecard on 14 (mostly very minor) changes agreed to: 11 were company proposals or counter proposals; 2 were company and union proposals; 1 (!) was a union counter proposal. Is the company writing our contract?
The good news: Teamsters in the Central Region, and in all supplements and riders, have the right to accept or reject the supplement, in secret ballot voting. This is not a final deal, but a "tentative agreement."
[Click here for the UPS Central Region Supplement Tentative Agreement] (Acrobat file, 462Kb)