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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UPS Teamsters: Cash in With $50 Retro Check Discount

Retro checks are on the way May 27. Put that extra cash to work for you.

Register to attend your first TDU Convention and get a $50 discount. This limited-time offer expires on June 15. The discount is available to first-time TDU Convention attendees only.

The TDU Convention will be held November 7-9 in Cleveland.

The discounted registration rate of $175 covers most meals and all Convention workshops and materials. Hotel rooms at the Cleveland Airport Sheraton are also discounted: just $89/night for a single and $45/night for a shared room.

Click here to register and save $50 today.

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Download the Docket for the UPS National Grievance Panel

The next UPS National Grievance Panel will be held June 2-5, 2014 in Boston. 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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Another UPS Contract Loophole Exposed

UPS made $4.5 billion in profits last year. So why will some package car drivers make less than new hires under the new contract?

Before UPS contract negotiations, Ken Hall promised, “The more they make, the more we take.” So why will some UPS drivers make less than new hires under the new contract?

Starting pay under the new contract was raised for package drivers to $18.75 an hour. But incredibly, Hall is allowing UPS to continue to pay a lower rate to more senior drivers who were making less under the old contract.

Depending on where they fall in the progression, package car drivers will make 40¢ an hour less than drivers hired a year or more after them thanks to this pro-company loophole in the new contract.

New Package Drivers get screwed under the contract too. It now takes four years to get to top pay, instead of three.

Before the contract, Hall vowed, “We’re not going to be talking about concessions, we’re going to be talking about improvements.” But actions and results speak louder than words and promises.

The pay rate for Package Drivers who were in the progression as of last August 1 is spelled out in this chart from the IBT.

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Why thousands of UPS Teamsters didn’t get a 70c raise

“All UPS Teamsters get a 70c raise.” Many Teamsters were told this, but now find out they got a 50c raise. Apparently, this contract is proof of an old adage, “figures don’t lie, but liars do figure”.

And figure they do. The company is well-aware that many of the 120,000+ part-time Teamsters are actually getting a 50c raise, and they bargained accordingly.

This is because the progression rate for many part-timers only went up 50c. This applies to sorters and pre-loaders as well as the “all others” category, and to part-time air drivers and to full-time air drivers in the progression.

Example: Tanya Teamster has a seniority date of November 1, 2011. After two years seniority under the old contract, in November 2013, her pay went up to $10.50. The two-year progression rate under the new contract is $11.00, only 50c more. Tanya was expecting a 70c raise, but got a 50c raise, because of the inadequate bump in the progression chart (See Article 22 of new contract).

The company and Ken Hall can say they didn’t lie. Tanya did get a retroactive 70c raise from her $10.00 rate on August 1, 2013, for three months, until her November 2013 anniversary date. She is entitled to three months of 70c retro pay. Then her pay went from $10.50 to $11.00. So she gets 50c retro pay since November, and a 50c raise over the old contract rate.

The problem is not new and goes deeper. The contract has too many wage rates, too long of a progression, and it works to divide Teamsters to the benefit of the company.

And this contract made the situation even worse: a longer progression period (four years) and a lower percentage pay rate during the progression.

Understanding pay rate increases can be difficult, especially when you are in the progression or you bid to another classification with a different rate of pay. It you have a split pay rate, it’s even more confusing.

Stewards and union reps need to understand this process and help Teamsters learn how it works, and to enforce the contract.

Here is a two page chart (one page for pre-loaders and sorters, and one for all others) produced by the International union on part-time pay rates under the new UPS contract.

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TeamCare Update for UPS Teamsters

How will the transition to new TeamCare coverage work for UPS Teamsters? We bring you the latest info and a sneak peak at upcoming mailings from TeamCare.

Starting June 1, over 140,000 UPS Teamsters will see a change in their healthcare coverage; most of them will be moving into TeamCare.

UPS Teamsters across the country mobilized to Vote No and fight healthcare cuts under TeamCare. The Vote No movement won some important benefit improvements.

With the International Union imposing the new UPS contract, TeamCare benefits will go into effect on June 1.

UPS Teamsters have questions. Here are some initial answers and a preview of upcoming mailings that TeamCare will be sending out over the next two weeks with information on enrollment, coverage, and more.

You can get more information online at or by calling the TeamCare hotline at 1-800-323-9257

The information provided here is from TeamCare.

Enrollment if You’re New to TeamCare

UPS Teamsters who are being moved into TeamCare will automatically be transitioned effective June 1.

TeamCare will send every new participant a summary of who in your household is covered based on the records provided by the UPS plan. If that information is correct, you do not need to do anything.

If you need to add a dependent or change information about who in your household is covered, call 1-800-323-9257.

The line is open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m to 7 p.m Eastern time.

What If I’m Already Covered by TeamCare?

After members rejected a record 18 supplements and riders, Hoffa and Hall were forced to make improvements to TeamCare coverage for everyone, including for UPS Teamsters who are already in TeamCare.

UPS Teamsters who are already in TeamCare will be mailed a new Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC).

Despite the enhancements won by the Vote No movement, UPS Teamsters who are currently under TeamCare will still have substandard benefits compared to UPS Teamsters who are being moved into TeamCare from the company plan

TeamCare Mailings on the Way

UPS Teamsters who are moving into TeamCare will receive mailings from TeamCare, including:

  • Welcome Packet, including a Summary of Personal and Family Information provided to TeamCare by the UPS Plan.

If you are new to TeamCare, you will also receive a mailing the week of May 12 from Blue Cross with a membership ID card.  TeamCare will send out additional cards for other family members, and TeamCare ID cards to use for Dental, Vision and Pharmacy coverage in a separate mailing.

If you are already covered by TeamCare, you will not be mailed a new TeamCare ID card. Use your old card to get the new coverage.

TeamCare is holding conferences calls for members during May. Click here to see the Call Schedule and Call-In Information.

Your Network

You can check to confirm if your doctor or hospital is in the TeamCare network, at

Blue Cross: For most members who are currently in a Blue Cross network under the company plan, TeamCare’s Blue Cross network is exactly the same.  The exceptions are for Teamsters who in Ohio who will now be in the Medical Mutual of Ohio network and Teamsters in Springfield, Ill. Who will not be in the PHCS network.

Aetna: If you are currently in Aetna, you will be moving to a new network but TeamCare says that 96% of Aetna hospitals and 91% of doctors are covered .

Reimbursement Check for Overpayment of Out-of-Pocket Expenses & Deductibles

TeamCare representatives indicated on a conference call for Teamster officers that Teamsters will be reimbursed if they already paid deductibles this year which exceed the new deductible and will be reimbursed for payments made which exceeded the improved out-of-pocket limits which are now $1,000 for an individual and $2,000 for a family.

This reimbursement does not apply to reduced co-pays. Those go into effect on June 1. The reimbursement check only covers payments that exceed the reduced deductibles and out-of-pocket limits.

TeamCare says they will get the information from the UPS plan within 90 days and issue the reimbursement checks at that time.  But TeamCare has not issued any written, detailed information on this reimbursement policy.

Retiree Healthcare

If you retired on or after January 1, 2014, your retiree healthcare coverage will be provided by TeamCare effective June 1.

Retirees and spouses will be covered until age 65.  So will child dependents until age 19, or until age 25 if they are full-time students.

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IBT says: Retro Checks in a Month

A memo sent today from Ken Hall to local unions states that retro pay checks will be issued on May 27, a month after the contract went into effect. The 70c raise should be in checks this week, according to Hall’s memo.

Click here to read the Memo.

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Wall Street Analyst: UPS got a cheap deal

Ken Hall promised, “The more they make, the more we take.” But Wall Street analysts say UPS will save $500 million in labor costs under the weak contract imposed by Hoffa and Hall.

Wolfe Research, specializing in analysis of the transport industry, has this to say about the new contract:

“UPS’s new 5-yr labor contract with the Teamsters is finally set to take effect on Fri. and we believe it’s a good deal for UPS, with only ~3% annual wage inflation versus ~4% in its past 2 contracts.”

The analysis continued: “UPS announced after the market on Thursday that its new five-year labor agreement with the Teamsters (which was approved on a national level in June of 2013) will go into effect today (Friday) after the national negotiating committee voted to override the last three chapters that had been holding out for supplemental amendments. We estimate wages and benefits for full-time employees will increase by a compounded average of  about 3.4% annually over the five  years of the contract, below 4.1% in the prior two deals in ‘08 and ‘02. We estimate wages will increase 2.3% annually (vs. 2.7% and 3.3% the past two deals), while benefits are expected to increase 5.2% annually. On an absolute basis, UPS will be paying very similar wage and benefit increases to the Teamsters; but, off of  a higher base, the percent increases are lower. Assuming 125K full-time Teamster members and roughly assuming $100K in average annual income (wages + benefits), 3.4% annual wage inflation would save UPS approximately $85M in labor costs in year one and closer to $500M in compounded savings by the end of the contract.”

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