The Teamster National Negotiating Committees met on Monday to review UPS contract proposals sent in by the members. Hoffa blocked Fred Zuckerman from getting on the National Negotiating Committee, but rank-and-file Teamsters are continuing the fight for a strong contract.
Fed up with harassment and givebacks, UPS Teamsters flooded the IBT with thousands of contract proposals. The proposals were sorted, put in binders, and given to the Negotiating Committee for review on September 25.
Members sent in changes touching on every article in the contract—but the biggest number focused on clear priority areas, including:
- Harassment, including escalating monetary penalties for violations and stronger enforcement mechanisms
- Fixing the Broken 9.5 Procedure to finally reduce unwanted, excessive overtime
- Eliminating the Dishonesty Loophole that leads to trumped-up discipline
- Strengthening the Right to Strike when the company repeatedly violates grievance decisions and the contract
- Reversing the Healthcare Cuts imposed on more than 100,000 Teamsters moved into TeamCare and the Southwest/177 Plan
- Reversing the Givebacks from the last contract, including the four-year progression to top pay
- Creating More Full-time 22.3 jobs and requiring the IBT to share its 22.3 jobs report with local unions so the contract can be enforced and the jobs can be protected
- Fighting for $15 Starting Pay for Part-Timers and catch-up wage increases for current part-timers
- Increasing Penalties for Supervisors Working and strengthening enforcement
- Rewriting Article 40 to address split pay and weak language that hurts members
- Reducing Subcontracting and SurePost to protect our work
- Improving Safety and Equipment, including air ride seats, extreme heat and cold, and over 70s
- Increasing Pensions, raising wages, shortening the progression to top rate, and other economic issues
The Devil’s In the Details
Multiple and competing contract proposals were submitted on many of these issues, and the devil will be in the details.
Should drivers have the right to refuse excessive overtime and return to the building after a 9.5 or 10-hour day?
Should the “dishonesty” loophole in Article 6 be amended, or should it be or eliminated altogether?
The UPS National Negotiating Committee discussed these and other details. But contract proposals were not finalized.
The signature issue of harassment, and how to deal with it, was left a wide open question.
UPS Teamsters stand united. The volume and focus of the contract proposals make that clear.
But will the Hoffa administration finally make a united stand against UPS?
Fred Zuckerman was the clear choice of UPS Teamsters to negotiate their contract. Over 70 percent of UPS Teamsters voted for Zuckerman in last year's Teamster election.
But Hoffa appointed Denis Taylor to head up contract negotiations, and refused to even put Zuckerman on the National Negotiating Committee. Zuckerman leads one of the largest UPS locals in the country and represents over 10,000 Teamsters at UPS.
On October 17, the IBT will hold a “two-person” meeting with officers from every UPS local to finalize the union’s opening bargaining proposals.
It will be up to members to hold Hoffa and Taylor accountable. That starts with insisting that our union adopt the strongest possible bargaining demands.