UPS Profits Off Pension Cuts

The lame duck Congress has attached pension cut legislation to the end-of-year spending bill that will pave the way for the worst pension cuts in Teamster history.

Leave it to UPS to find a way to make billions off this disaster.

UPS lobbyists fought for and won a special interest loophole that shifts $2 billion in the company’s pension responsibilities on to the backs of Teamster retirees in the Central States. These retirees will now face even bigger pension cuts as a result.

UPS is the one and only company that benefits from the loophole on pages 81-82. Its purpose is to ensure that the Central States Pension Fund will not reduce the pensions of UPS workers who retired after January 1, 2008.

Not reducing pensions. Isn’t that a good thing? Of course! But UPS retirees in the Central States are already protected from having their pensions reduced.

In the case of any pension cuts by Central States, Article 34, Section 1 of the UPS master agreement, requires the company to make up any lost pension benefits.

UPS’s special interest loophole means the company won’t have to make up for any pension cuts. The loophole doesn’t save UPS retirees a dime, but UPS will save a fortune.

Teamster retirees and their widows will face $2 billion more in pension cuts so UPS can get out of paying the obligations it agreed to in the contact.

What can Brown do for you? Certainly, not this.

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Kicked to the Curb for Pregnancy, a UPSer Fights Back

Thanks to a UPS driver, the Supreme Court and Congress are taking up pregnancy discrimination by employers. Thank Peggy Young for standing up to UPS.

Women should not have to worry about losing their income just because they become pregnant. But that’s the reality for Teamsters and other women workers.

Peggy Young, a UPS driver, was denied temporary light duty and forced to take unpaid leave when her doctor put her on a temporary twenty-pound lifting restriction until after she gave birth.

Peggy knew this was wrong and she fought back. Sign the Thank You Card to Peggy Young to thank her for standing up to UPS.

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Peggy Young v. UPS yesterday.

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act has been introduced in Congress, a bill that will protect the right of pregnant workers to keep their jobs and support their families.

And UPS has changed its policy and will offer light duty to employees who have lifting or other restrictions because of pregnancy.

Teamsters for a Democratic Union took up this issue when UPS began discriminating against pregnant employees and the Hoffa administration did nothing.

Peggy Young took this fight to the highest court in the land.

Sign the Thank You Card to Peggy Young for standing up to UPS and standing up for all workers.

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One Grateful Turkey

UPS CEO cashed in 40,000 shares of company stock two days before Thanksgiving for $4.3 million. Starting pay for UPS part-timers, in several areas, has fallen behind the minimum wage.

Davis still owns another 246,412 shares of UPS stock worth $26.5 million.

CEOs make more than Teamsters. We get that. But this is obscene, especially when many UPS part-timers are making poverty wages. Starting pay for UPS part-timers is frozen at just $10 an hour until 2018.

Legislation has been introduced to raise the federal minimum wage to higher than that: $10.10 an hour.

In several areas, the minimum wage has already surpassed starting pay under the UPS contract negotiated by Ken Hall.

Hawaii and Maryland voted to phase in hikes to the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.

Seattle will phase in a new minimum wage of $15 an hour. Businesses with more than 500 workers must meet that level within three years. That includes the UPS hub.

San Francisco will also raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour over the same period. A UPS hub will be covered there too.

UPS part-timers at the hub in Richmond, California will make $12.30 starting in 2017 thanks to a minimum wage hike there with a COLA after that.

This list will continue to grow by 2018.

It’s time to End Part-Time Poverty at UPS. That starts with building a movement to elect new International Union leadership in 2016.

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The Supreme Court Could Soon Make Life Harder for Pregnant Women

This holiday season, when you pick up another box of heavy gifts left at your doorway by a delivery person, ask yourself: Should a pregnant woman lift this?

The Supreme Court will be asking itself a related question in early December when it considers the biggest test of the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act in a generation.

Click here to read more at The Huffington Post.

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Louisville UPS pilots taking complaints to company’s investors

Louisville UPS pilots are taking their complaints to the company’s investors.

The company’s pilots placed a full-page ad in The Wall Street Journal Thursday, pushing for a new contract.

Click here to read more at WDRB.com

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Teamster Power in a Global Economy

UPS is growing fast internationally and so is the middle class. How do we build union power in a global economy?

UPS’s business is driven by middle-class consumers sending packages and buying products online.

While UPS’s middle-class customer base is expected to grow rapidly through 2030, only a small amount of growth will come from the US.

Most of the growth in the global middle class is expected in Asia, especially China, and India.

Teamsters are still the engine of UPS’s revenue and profits. We’ve generated 61% of UPS’s revenue so far this year—and UPS Freight Teamsters piled more revenue on top of that.

Teamsters will continue to be central to the company’s operations and profits—but UPS has a long-term plan and we need one too in a global economy. We’ve got to build global union ties and global labor solidarity for union power in the long run.

UPS has a long-term plan. Our union needs one too. The time to start is now.

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UPS Hits the Brakes on Pregnancy Discrimination

In a victory for women Teamsters, UPS has announced it will offer light duty to employees who have lifting or other work restrictions because of pregnancy.

For years, UPS allowed pregnant women with health restrictions to work light duty. But ten years ago, management reversed course company-wide and began denying alternate work to pregnant Teamsters.

Teamster women who were unable to keep working during their pregnancy had to burn their FMLA leave or lost their FMLA benefits altogether because they came up short of the hours they needed to qualify.

Some pregnant Teamsters even lost their medical benefits before childbirth. (Under the contract, health coverage runs out after six months on disability leave.)

Teamsters for a Democratic Union supported mad moms who protested against UPS. But the Hoffa administration refused to take on the issue and UPS management got away with pregnancy discrimination.

Until now, that is.

Former Teamster Peggy Young sued UPS for pregnancy discrimination and the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case.

Finally, UPS management caved. In a brief to the Supreme Court, UPS has announced that “On a going-forward basis, UPS has voluntarily decided to provide additional accommodations for pregnancy-related physical limitations.”

UPS’s new policy provides: ‘Light duty work will be provided as an accommodation to pregnant employees with lifting or other physical restrictions to the same extent as such work is available as an accommodation to employees with similar restrictions resulting from on-the-job injuries.’”

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UPS National Grievance Panel Decisions

Click here to download the UPS National Grievance Panel docket.

Click here to read the docket for the UPS Joint National Air Committee.

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TeamCare Sticks with Healthcare Cuts

The new Health Plan covering UPS Teamsters in the Southwest and New Jersey Local 177 is improving health benefits. Why won’t TeamCare?

Over the past two weeks, UPS Teamsters in most of the West and in New Jersey Local 177 got some good news in the mail: their health and welfare fund is improving benefits.

The modifications to the plan reduce emergency room co-pays, improve dental and optical coverage, and make other changes, effective September 1.

Members have been up in arms about the cuts in health coverage from day one, and that pressure finally won some improvements.

But what about TeamCare? It’s time for the Hoffa administration to deliver more than healthcare cuts.

Posted in Issues, News, Pension & Benefits
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Brown Giving Teamsters the Black Friday Blues

UPS profits are up and a record peak season is expected. For the first time package drivers will be forced to work on Black Friday.

UPS announced today third-quarter profits of $1.2 billion. That’s an increase of 11 percent over last year. Both profit figures topped Wall Street’s predictions. For the year, UPS expects to make after-tax profits of around $4.5 billion.

UPS also announced that Surepost shipments increased more than 50 percent.

Management expects peak season deliveries to jump by 11 percent this year, shattering the previous record.

For the first time, UPS will have ground service on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Management will force members to work if there are not enough volunteers who want to work the holiday for the extra pay.

One local at least has contract language that allows Teamsters to avoid the Black Friday blues. Under the New York Local 804 Supplement, UPS cannot schedule Teamsters to work on a holiday, including the day after Thanksgiving.

Local 804 members who want the day after Thanksgiving with their family can take the day off with pay. Any Local 804 member who works will get double-time pay for all hours worked, plus holiday pay.

The national contract has no language to stop UPS’s Black Friday plans and the issue was not addressed in contract negotiations.

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Download the Docket for the UPS National Grievance Panel

The next UPS National Grievance Panel will be held Oct. 6-9, 2014 in Sacramento. TDU is making the complete list of the cases to be heard at the panel available to concerned Teamsters.

Click here to download the cases before the National Grievance Committee.

Click here to download the cases before the Joint National Air Committee.

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UPS Full-Time Jobs Update

Despite growing volume, UPS has shrunk the Teamster workforce.

When the recession hit in 2008, UPS went lean and mean. They reduced hiring, implemented new technology, increased harassment, and eliminated full-time jobs.

Management’s goal was to boost profits by squeezing more work from fewer workers. They’ve succeeded.

Read the rest …

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Full-Time Jobs Giveaway Hurts Our Pensions

Teamster pension funds are paying the price for full-time job elimination.

More ground deliveries should mean more full-time jobs—and more participants in Teamster pension funds. But a review of pension data shows what’s happening is just the opposite. As ground volume has grown in recent years, the number of full-time jobs has fallen.

The IBT-UPS Pension Fund covers 45,000 UPS Teamsters in the Central Region and South. It’s the largest Pension Fund in the country that covers only UPS full-timers—making it a good barometer of full-time job growth. From 2009 to 2012, the number of Teamsters in the IBT-UPS Fund fell by 2,887—a six percent drop.

Read the rest …

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Big Brown Gets Busy in 2nd Quarter

UPS made $454 million in after-tax profits and transferred liability for future retiree healthcare costs to Teamcare.

UPS announced $454 million in profits for the 2nd quarter today. That’s down from $1.07 billion for the same period last year.

But don’t cry for Big Brown just yet. The company’s 54% drop in profits is explained by a one-time charge.

Read the rest …

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Top 10 Tips for Protecting Yourself from Harassment

Harassment isn’t an accident at UPS. It’s a strategy, called management-by-stress.

Under management-by-stress, the company uses harassment to try to intimidate us into working faster. Sometimes, they’re trying to provoke you into losing your temper. In extreme cases, they’ll try to harass workers into quitting.

TDU asked experienced package car stewards for suggestions on how Teamsters can protect themselves from harassment at UPS. Here were their Top 10 tips.

Read the rest …

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