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.

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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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Make UPS Deliver on Surepost Promises

The new contract includes restrictions on SurePost that are supposed to mean fewer packages diverted to the Post Office and more fulltime Teamster driving jobs.

So far, drivers report a different story. “I deliver to the Post Office on my route,” said Michigan Local 243 Teamster Marty Labut. “I still see SurePost packages on dead-end streets where I already have deliveries. I see SurePost packages right next door to stops on my route. We are supposed to be delivering these parcels.”

It’s time to enforce the contract.  Here are some tips on how to document violations and file SurePost grievances.

Read the rest …

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2013 UPS Contract Available Only from TDU

Hoffa and Hall have not made the new UPS contracts available as a contract book or even online. But you can get the National Master Contract and most supplements from TDU.

You can read or download the new contract language here. The new language is in bold face type.

Read the rest …

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Summary of Western Region and Local 177 Health Plan

The Western Region and Local 177 Health Plan has issued a two-page summary of “talking points” to all local unions and union representatives, so that they can answer members’ questions.

We are making the summary available to members, to help everyone learn the basics of coverage under the plan.

The new health plan covers UPS Teamsters in much of the West and in New Jersey Local 177. Some members have expressed concern about the fact that eligibility will be determined on a weekly basis (see page 2 of the summary) instead of monthly. This means that if you are off work for one full week due to being injured off the job or other uncompensated reasons, you will temporarily lose coverage. Note that you will be covered for FMLA absences, as required by the FMLA.

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Labor Board Tells UPS: Respect Teamsters’ Rights

Tom Glidden, a UPS Driver at the Maple Grove Minnesota UPS facility, has passed out Teamster Voice for years. He does it in the parking lot before and after work and leaves a few copies in break areas.

UPS management told him to stop. Now the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has directed management to back off and respect the rights of Teamster members.

In May 2013 Tom’s supervisor told him he would be disciplined if he continued to pass out the Teamster Voice or any contract-related materials. Glidden knew his rights and contacted TDU. TDU attorney Barbara Harvey then filed labor board charges.

Management at the Maple Grove UPS facility must now post a settlement agreement that informs all Teamsters that they have the right to distribute union-related information, including TDU literature, in non-work areas at non-work times.

“I know how important it is to get info out to Teamster members. Knowing more about the issues we face makes us stronger as a union. It gives us more power to enforce our contract,” Glidden said.

See the settlement here.

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UPS Master Contract Now Available

The IBT has not made the new UPS Master Agreement available. TDU has produced one for Teamsters to use to enforce the contract.

TDU has compiled and posted the 2013-2018 UPS Master Agreement for Teamsters to download and use.

We combined the new negotiated changes with the old language. To make it easy to spot the changes, the new language appears in bold type. Deleted language is not indicated.

This contract download is an unofficial document prepared by Teamsters for a Democratic Union for use by UPS Teamsters, stewards and local union reps. It has not been approved by the IBT.

In the past, the Hoffa-Hall administration has always taken over a year (!) to print up contract books. Apparently contract enforcement is a very low priority to them.

Your contract consists of the National Master and also a regional supplement and in some areas a local rider. Because there are dozens of supplements and riders, we have not been able to compile and post 2013-2018 versions them. The changes to those supplement and riders are available here.

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UPS Black Friday Surprise

UPS announced it will implement full ground and air service on the Friday after Thanksgiving even though Black Friday is a holiday under the contract.

UPS has always suspended ground deliveries on Black Friday, with Teamsters getting premium pay to do air pickups and deliveries. But this year, UPS plans to have full ground service too, according to a memo that is being read by UPS management at morning meetings called PCMs.

“We were totally, blindsided,” said Kathy Duffy, a driver from Local 384 in Willow Grove, Pa. “We’ve been fighting for more time with our families. This is the only quality family holiday that a lot of UPSers get because we’re all so exhausted at Christmas.”

UPS management says they’re implementing the change to “help clear the UPS system and prepare us for the first wave” of holiday season peak volume.

“This is a total over-reaction to what happened last year. All UPS has to do is hire more people. Instead, it’s like we’re losing a holiday,” Duffy said.

Under nearly every supplement and rider, UPS can force employees to work on a holiday if there are not enough volunteers. (The Local 804 Supplement is a notable exception.)

Pay for Teamsters who work the holiday is governed by your supplement or rider.  In some supplements, Teamsters who work the holiday get double-time with an eight-hour minimum, plus eight hours of holiday pay. In other supplements, it is time-and-a-half plus the holiday pay.

Ken Hall and the IBT just issued a press release bragging UPS will have to cut down excessive overtime and deal with “embarrassing staffing shortages during the last holiday season” by hiring more drivers.

Apparently UPS management has other ideas.

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