Hoffa and Hall are considering a secret plan to impose the UPS contract by taking away members’ Right to Vote on the rejected supplements.
UPS Teamsters in Louisville, Philadelphia, and Western Pennsylvania have Voted No and rejected their supplements.
Now Hoffa and Hall are considering a plan to take away their right to vote and impose the UPS contract.
Teamster members won the right to vote on supplements and riders in 1991 and have used that right in record numbers this year. UPS Teamsters rejected 18 supplements and riders, covering most of the country.
The Vote No movement paid off and forced Hoffa and Hall to improve TeamCare benefits, and won other improvements in some supplements.
Since then, Ken Hall has worked hand-in-glove with management to vote and re-vote the rejected supplements to get them passed.
But members in three areas have held out against concessions and for improvements in their supplements: Louisville, Western Pennsylvania, and Philadelphia.
These UPS Teamsters are ready to stand up and even vote to strike, if that threat is needed to bring the company to the table to bargain a fair contract.
The supplements could have been settled a long time ago if the International Union had stepped in and backed the members.
Instead, Hall has played politics and lashed out at the Local 89 leadership and the Vote No movement and tried to blame them for holding up the national contract.
The company has taken its cues from Hoffa and Hall and refused to budge at the bargaining table. In Louisville, UPS has even reduced its offer.
This is exactly why Teamsters fought for the Right to Vote on supplements and riders in the first place: to stop employers from imposing concessions in supplements and riders by pushing through a contract nationally.
Before we had this right in 1991, the master contract and all supplements and riders were voted on in one national vote. That gave employers a tool to push through concessions at the supplement level.
The Right to Vote on supplements and riders changed all that.
Hall is talking about imposing the UPS contract and abrogating members’ right to vote on the outstanding supplements. This plan has started to leak out from Hall loyalists.
All members need to be prepared to stand with these UPS Teamsters and to stand up for our Right to Vote.
UPS cannot operate without the Louisville Worldport and Philadelphia Airport which together handle a huge volume of air packages. The Local 705 and 710 contracts covering 15,000 UPS Teamsters in Chicago, Illinois, and Northern Indiana are also not settled. These contracts are separate from the national agreement, still open, and vital to UPS’s operations.
With a united approach, our union has more than enough leverage to defeat concessions and win acceptable contracts in Louisville, Western Pennsylvania, Philadelphia and in Chicago Locals 705 and 710. It’s time for Hoffa and Hall to act like Teamster leaders instead of UPS enforcers.
The Right to Vote gives working UPSers leverage. Hoffa and Hall should be using it to negotiate contract improvements, not threatening to take that right away.
The third time’s the charm for UPS management, the Hoffa-Hall leadership, and the Ohio UPS Rider. After being rejected by 55% of UPS Teamsters last October, it was approved by a narrow 52% majority.
In the nine months since the first rejection last June, members saw no help from Hoffa-Hall in terms of improvements to the rider. They can’t seem to do a thing for members, but they could wear down the members to tip the balance to a majority Yes. Does that count as good union leadership?
No. It’s taking members’ dues money and using it to be management’s sales team.
Two of the three largest Ohio locals voted No for a third time: Cincinnati Local 100 (4-1 No) and Columbus Local 413 (2-1 No), so did Dayton Local 957, Lima Local 908, and Zanesville Local 637.
The rider passed because Cleveland Local 407 full-timers are covered by Teamcare, and thus not facing benefit cuts. It passed by 7-1 in Cleveland.
Ohio Teamsters are mad about health care cuts. Despite the benefit enhancements, which were won by the Vote No movement after so many supplements were rejected, Teamsters transferring into Teamcare will still face some benefit reductions. In addition, the Rider failed to win any guaranteed number of full-time jobs or make any improvements to protect against harassment or strengthen 9.5 language for drivers.
Western Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, and Louisville
Hoffa-Hall took a vote in Ohio, after doing nothing for all this time, because it was close last time. They know that tactic will not work in Western Pennsylvania or Philadelphia, where the rejection votes were overwhelming.
Ballots for the Louisville Air Rider will be mailed out on March 21. There is no doubt the 9,000 Teamsters covered will say No, loud and clear. The issues are laid out well on the Local 89 website.
The struggle continues, on the contract and beyond that, to change the direction of our union to one that fights for the members, not against them.
UPS management claims it has issued its “last, best and final” offer on a new Air Rider covering nearly 9,000 UPS Teamsters in Louisville.
UPS says they are done negotiating with Louisville Local 89 over the Air Rider, and they have thrown down an offer that is even worse than their previous one.
The International union has announced they will put the company’s offer to a vote, with ballots mailed out March 21 and counted on April 10.
Local 89 members rejected the company’s previous offer by 89 percent. Management’s new offer stiff-arms the local’s proposals for improvements, and even worse, management removed a $1,000 incentive bonus that was in its previous offer.
Louisville members are prepared to say No, and even Hell No, to this insulting offer.
Local 89 calls it “blind arrogance” by UPS. And they’re right.
It’s also a turn toward hardball tactics by UPS and the International Union who are trying to force through unpopular agreements not just in Louisville, but in Philadelphia and Western Pennsylvania where members have decisively Voted No twice.
The Hoffa-Hall administration doesn’t have a strategy for winning better contract offers in the rejected supplements. So they’re playing politics instead.
They are gearing up a campaign to try to blame Local 89, its President Fred Zuckerman and the Vote No movement for holding up the national contract and members’ retro checks. Hoffa and Hall are to blame: they heard from the members nine months ago and haven’t done a thing to fix the problems in all that time.
The Hoffa-Hall plan is to first push through weak agreements in the holdout locals and then to come after members’ Right to Vote on supplements.
TDU won the Right to Vote on Supplements at the 1991 Teamster Convention precisely to stop the International Union from forcing through substandard supplements in a national vote.
UPS Teamsters in 18 supplements across the country used this right effectively to Vote No to fight concessions and improvements in the rejected supplements.
What’s at Stake in the Local 89 Air Rider
Local 89’s website lays out the issues. Some of the problems are familiar to many other UPSers: adjustments to healthcare to offset negative outcomes in the transfer to Teamcare; more full time jobs; curtailing subcontracting; safety; and others.
One issue is a unique and critically important to Worldport Teamsters: unpaid travel time. Teamsters spend up to 40 minutes a day on their own time (!) using an inadequate shuttle system to get to their work station before they can clock in, and the same deal when they leave work.
Louisville Teamsters are standing up for all UPS Teamsters and deserve our support.
While UPS and UPS Freight Teamsters take concessions, the profit haul for the company continues. UPS reported fourth-quarter profits of $1.2 billion and says profits will top $5 billion in 2014.
The media is full of sympathetic stories about how UPS profits are, “falling short of expectations.” And it’s true that UPS’s fourth quarter profits were lower than originally expected because of the much-publicized problems at peak.
But before you pull out a brown hankie and cry for UPS management, consider this. Even when management bungles the most important business time of the year, the company still makes $1.2 billion in profit in just three months. That’s after taxes.
For the year, UPS made $4.5 billion in profits after taxes. And the company announced today that it projects that profits will top $5 billion in 2014.
The company’s freight-forwarding business is down—but not where Teamsters are doing the job. UPS Freight revenues grew to $2.882 billion.
Before contract negotiations began, Ken Hall vowed, “The more they make, the more we take.” Instead, working Teamsters will remember 2013 as the year of contract givebacks and the most miserable peak season ever.
It’s not all bad news. 2013 is also the year that UPS and UPS Freight Teamsters showed we can fight back. Members turned down the national UPS Freight contract and nearly voted down the national UPS agreement while voting down a record number of supplements.
Hoffa and Hall couldn’t even figure out how to use that leverage.
UPS Teamsters in New York Local 804 took a different tack. They said NO to information brownouts and organized a contract campaign. They won a $400 pension increase (including at $25 & Out), 150 new full-time jobs and grievance procedure reform. When members voted down the first offer, the bargaining committee, including rank-and-filers, went back to the table and won additional improvements.
UPS knows how to make profits. We need Teamster leadership that will make UPS deliver for working Teamsters too.
UPS contract ballots are being mailed out in Teamsters Local 710, Western Pennsylvania, and in Indiana Local 135.
The New Jersey Local 177 supplement has been ratified, following yesterday’s ratification of the Southwest Rider. Both passed by approximately a 2-1 margin.
In the Southwest, the biggest union, Los Angeles Local 396, was split down the middle, but most other locals voted heavily yes, with Locals 186 and 986 voting No.
The vote count will continue this morning on the remainder of the west. You can read the latest vote counts here.
The Hoffa-Hall administration launched a million-dollar campaign to sell the contract on a second vote. Southwest area Teamsters received up to eight mailings selling the deal, along with robo-calls, web postings, and threats about their health care.
By sticking together, Vote No Teamsters won improved healthcare benefits in the second contract offer. And they learned a valuable lesson in rank and file solidarity and Hoffa-Hall treachery.
The bad news is that Teamster officials are paying for these improvements by taking money that is supposed to be used to improve members pensions and diverting it into the Health Fund instead.
As a result, full-time members in the Southwest that are going into the new Health Fund will end up with smaller pension accruals than full-time UPS Teamsters in the rest of the West.
The UPS contract started with early negotiations but it won’t be settled until well into 2014. The supplements and riders covering Ohio, Indiana, Western Pa, Philadelphia and the Louisville air rider all remain to be completed. The UPS Freight contract is also in limbo. Members Voted No to reject that weak agreement, and Hoffa and Hall have done zip for UPS Freight Teamsters since.
Hoffa and Hall had a three-point plan for the UPS contract negotiations. First came the Brownout. Then came the Sellout. And finally came the Sales Job.
If you want to join the network of UPS Teamsters working for a new direction for our Teamsters Union, click here.
On November 13, the IBT will mail out ballots to UPS Teamsters covered by the Western Region Supplement and the Local 177 Supplement.
The sales pitch will be the health benefits improvements which were won thanks to the overwhelming contract rejection in the first vote in June.
What members are not being told is that you are paying for the new health plan with money that was supposed to go to improve your pension benefit. Read the rest …
November 2, 2013: The Western Region and Local 177 UPS health care website is up.
You can find it http://www.wr177healthcare.com.
It includes information on benefits but has no information on the diversion of negotiated money from your pension to fund the health plan.
An 11-minute DVD is also available, and will be sent out prior to the upcoming re-vote on the UPS contract in the west. It contains the same info as the website.
October 17, 2013: With the UPS contract long expired and peak on the way, contracts and contract supplements or riders covering over 75,000 UPSers still remain to be negotiated.
The contracts, supplements and riders covering Teamster members in the Western Region, Louisville, Ohio, Indiana, Philadelphia, Western Pennsylvania, and New Jersey Local 177 all need to be voted a second or third time.
Two additional contracts covering all UPS Teamsters in Illinois and parts of Indiana and Iowa have barely started. Chicago Locals 705 and 710, covering some 15,000 Teamsters, each negotiate their own contracts separate from the national master agreement.
The Information Brownout at UPS gave way to an unprecedented sales job in the second round of voting in October.
Hoffa and Hall unleashed a million dollar PR campaign to push through rejected contract supplements.
The Central Region Supplement narrowly passed by 53.6 percent. UPS will be able to exploit the 17(i) loophole to fire Teamsters for the vague “other cardinal offenses” for another five years.
The Metropolitan Philadelphia supplement passed by an even skimpier 1,004 to 918 margin. Three of the four locals, covering all of the largest hubs, rejected it. But a 10-1 yes vote in Wilmington, Del. squeezed the supplement through.
Hoffa and Hall did not even try to re-vote some of the supplements, because they knew they would lose. The Western Pennsylvania Supplement, rejected by 6-1 in June, was held back along with others.
Philadelphia Local 623 members showed that Hoffa, Hall and UPS had reason to be afraid. They Voted No by 71 percent. UPS Teamsters in Ohio also rejected their Rider for a second time.
In a welcome exception to the concessions, UPS Teamsters in New York Local 804 won major improvements in their supplement, including a $400 pension increase, 150 full-time jobs, and grievance procedure reform.
Rank-and-File Solidarity Pays Off
Rank-and-file solidarity has paid off and changed the Teamsters Union for the better—even if the Vote No movement wasn’t able defeat the Central and Metro Philadelphia supplements.
Hoffa and Hall were forced to reverse many healthcare cuts and improve TeamCare benefits.
The new benefits are not what members wanted, but they are a whole lot better than what Hoffa, Hall and UPS tried to make members accept in the first contract vote.
The 2013 contract fight has awakened a sleeping giant—250,000 Teamsters at UPS and another 12,500 at UPS Freight—who can be the backbone of a movement for change in the Teamsters.
Members continue to organize for improvements in some 11 unsettled supplements and riders, plus the Chicago Local 705 and Local 710 contracts.
Philadelphia Local 623
UPS Teamsters shot down the Philadelphia Local 623 supplement by 71 percent in the second contract vote.
In addition to concerns about health benefits, Vote No leaders have pushed for improvements in their supplement, including more full-time jobs, and for rank-and-file Teamsters to be put on the negotiating committee.
Leaders of the Vote No movement are running for Local 623 office as the Integrity Slate.
Lousiville Local 89 Air Rider
A major headache for UPS management and Hoffa-Hall is the Louisville Air Rider.
Local 89 officers, stewards and members have stood united against the Hoffa-Hall concessions, voting by 88 percent against the Central Supplement in the second round.
The Air Rider itself has not even gone out for a first vote yet, because the company is stonewalling and has blocked serious bargaining.
The Air Rider covers 8,800 Teamsters. The last thing management wants is a strike vote taken at the Louisville Worldport.
Ken Hall will either have to back the local’s reasonable proposals for improvements or resort to more old guard methods, like an IBT takeover of contract negotiations.
Indiana / Ohio / Western Pennsylvania
The Ohio Rider has been rejected for a second time. The Indiana Local 135 Rider has not been re-voted yet. The Western Pennsylvania supplement hasn’t either, after being rejected by a 6-1 margin.
Western Supplement / Southwest Rider
and New Jersey Local 177
The Western supplement and big Southwest Rider and the New Jersey Local 177 supplement all need to be voted.
Hoffa, Hall and Western officials saw the Southwest Rider, with over 20,000 Teamsters in California, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico, defeated by nearly a 3-1 margin back in June.
Members have been told for months that “soon” they would get a look at the new health care benefits they will be offered in a separate “carve-out” health fund. Will “soon” finally come in November?
Meanwhile, have IBT officials bargained any improvements on other important issues in the past four months? The brownout continues.
October 10, 2013: The Round Two vote count in the Central Region is coming to the end, and the supplement has narrowly passed by 53.6%: 11,599 to 10,009.
The Yes Votes from Teamsters in Minnesota and Wisconsin put the Yes side over the top. UPS full-timers in those states do not face healthcare cuts they are covered by separate union plans.
Click here for complete local-by-local results.
Hoffa and Hall launched a million-dollar PR campaign with glossy mailers, DVDs and IBT outreach at the gates. to swing some 1800 votes into the Yes column and pass the Supplement. That’s about $600 in members’ dues for every yes vote they turned.
The narrow defeat in the Central Supplement is disappointing. But the Vote No movement has a lot to be proud of—and the fight is far from over.
By rejecting a record number of supplements, the Vote No movement forced Hoffa and Hall to reverse many healthcare cuts and improve TeamCare benefits. The new benefits are not what members wanted, but they are a whole lot better than what Hoffa, Hall and UPS tried to make members accept.
The Vote No movement can be proud of our solidarity—and members are better off for it.
And, it’s not over yet. Yesterday, the Philadelphia Supplement was shot down by 71%. The Louisville Air Rider has not been negotiated yet, because the company is stonewalling Local 89. The Ohio Rider was rejected today. The Indiana Rider is not negotiated yet. The Western Pennsylvania supplement isn’t, either, after being rejected by a 5-1 margin.
The Western Supplement and big Southwest Rider and the New Jersey Local 177 Supplements all need to be voted. The details of the renegotiated supplements and new health plan are still under wraps, nearly four months after the first contract vote.
The fight against healthcare cuts and contract concessions has awakened a sleeping giant: the nearly 250,000 Teamsters at UPS and 13,000 at UPS Freight.
Vote No activists are running for local office and organizing for change in the union.
The UPS contract was supposed to be Ken’s Halls coming-out party as he prepares to run for Teamster General President. UPS and UPS Freight Teamsters are not about to jump on that bandwagon.
Teamster members deserve IBT leadership that will mobilize to win good contracts. Hoffa and Hall only kicked it into gear to sell contract concessions.
That’s why they have to go. Teamsters at UPS and UPS Freight can be the backbone of a powerful movement for change. Don’t whine, organize!
October 4, 2013: Ballots will be counted starting Oct. 9 on UPS supplements in the Central and Pennsylvania. Another 35,000 Teamsters will be re-voting soon in the Western Region and New Jersey Local 177. But for now, there’s an information Brownout on what they will be voting on.
The Western and New Jersey Teamsters are covered by a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) attached to the national UPS contract, offering them a chance to “carve out” a new or join an existing health and welfare fund. For over a month, they have been told the fund will have great benefits, but members have not been given any details.
The health benefits reportedly won’t be revealed until mid-October after Hoffa and Hall see the round two contract results in the Central Region and Philadelphia. If the contract goes down again there, they may be reluctant to try their luck in the West, where the Southwest Rider was rejected by a 71% margin.
Andy Marshall, Ron Herrera and other Teamster officials in the West are promising the “carve out” benefits will match the current good benefits members have. A website and benefit comparisons are in the works. Members will have their eyes on the details.
Officials say they expect to mail out Western and New Jersey contract votes around the first of November.
It’s been more than four months since members voted down their supplements. Since then, there have been no reports on any real changes in other supplement issues being bargained.
The Million Dollar Campaign
Meanwhile, the Hoffa-Hall administration has spent millions of dollars trying to make sure they pass the Central Region and Philadelphia area supplements: multiple mailings, glossy brochures, meetings, International reps gating UPS buildings, DVDs, phone calls, and more.
If only they would put this kind of all-out effort into bargaining and enforcing the contract!
What the Vote No Movement Won Already
The first No Vote on 18 supplements and riders has already paid off.
The Vote No movement forced major improvements in health care benefits under TeamCare. Members can take pride in that victory while continuing to organize for more improvements.
Beyond health care, the contract falls short on creating full-time jobs, dealing with forced overtime and harassment, and part-time poverty wages—not to mention new concessions, like the four-year progression.
UPS Teamsters will be meeting at the upcoming TDU Convention to discuss next steps for rebuilding Teamster Power at UPS.
UPS is caught in a rift between the leadership of the Teamsters union and its rank-and-file members over labor contracts, a development that could unnerve corporate shippers and hurt its holiday shipping business.
UPS’s labor issues were supposed to be mostly settled in June, when the company’s domestic package-delivery employees—a majority of its U.S. workers— approved a new five-year national master contract that included wage increases as well as revised health and pension benefits.
But UPS is still negotiating separately with many local bargaining units across the country—over issues like health-care benefits, wages for part-timers and restricting overtime.
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents about 249,000 employees of UPS’s 323,000 full- and part-time domestic workers. About 235,000 of those are covered by the master contract. That contract cannot take effect until 16 supplemental agreements and riders are negotiated and approved.
One of the dissatisfied groups is Teamsters Local 89, a critical part of UPS’s operation because of both its size and locale. Local 89 represents about 10,000 employees in Louisville, Ky., who work at or close to UPS’s Worldport, the giant automated package hub that sorts and processes 1.6 million packages daily.
Separately, UPS also has to negotiate a contract for its freight division, since the first attempt was rejected in June.
The timing is tricky for UPS, which is heading into its peak holiday shipping season.
Andy McGowan, director of global media relations at UPS, said it’s still “business as usual” at the shipper. The company and the Teamsters have agreed to indefinite contract extensions as it resolves the outstanding issues, he said. “We continue to make progress.”
Customer anxiety over UPS’s unsettled labor issues hurts business. “Any time there’s friction between hourly workers and management, it doesn’t sit well with customers,” said Keith Byrd, co-founder of Transportation Impact LLC, which audits and negotiates on behalf of shippers. “There’s a three-way thing going on here. The more commotion and skepticism there is, the more customers will start worrying again.”
Corporate shippers are spooked by labor negotiations because they think it could result in possible slowdowns or interruptions—at worse a strike— that might delay their packages.
Even when labor talks were going smoothly earlier this year, UPS customers were hedging their bets. The company’s volume growth in the second quarter was “a little less than we expected,” Chief Executive Scott Davis told analysts in an earnings call. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company cited labor negotiations with the Teamsters for its “hindered volume growth” in the quarter.
In Louisville, Local 89 is urging its members to “Vote No Again” on its latest regional supplement. Ballots are due back on Oct. 9.
“We think the international union did a very poor job,” said Local 89 President Fred Zuckerman. He said among other things the proposed health changes for many of his members added expense, cut benefits and created disparity among workers.
“They didn’t meet or even understand the needs of the employees.” Mr. Zuckerman said he believes “we have a bigger fight with the international union than we do with the company.”
Ken Paff, national organizer for a dissident teamster group called Teamsters for a Democratic Union, said its part of a “rank-and-file rebellion.” He said “this has been a pretty big earthquake in the union and at the company.”
Leigh Strope, a Teamsters spokeswoman, said the union is “working through an internal democratic process”—hearing members concerns and addressing them. “The process takes time,” she said.
Ms. Strope acknowledged there has been confusion and misinformation about the new health-care plans, but said the union has made improvements and “most concerns have been alleviated now.”
She called the contract the “best private-sector labor contract in the country,” noting it includes raises of almost $4 an hour, creates 2,500 new full-time jobs and contains many new job protections.
Though approved, the national master contract cannot go into effect until all of the outstanding issues with the locals are settled, according to UPS.
Both UPS and the Teamsters can agree to continue the contract extensions indefinitely. UPS doesn’t like to, though, according to a former executive who asked not to be named, because UPS believes it gives FedEx Corp. the opportunity to try to woo UPS customers to spread their risk or switch to FedEx. The vast majority of FedEx’s workforce is nonunion.
September 26, 2013: UPS Teamsters in the Central Region are on a second contract offer that has virtually no improvements and would cut the health benefits of most Teamsters. Can it pay to Vote No again?
Voting No the first time already won solid improvements in the health benefits. We were told that Voting No would not affect the health benefits. That proved to be a lie.
Voting No again in the Central can win improvements once more. Here’s why.
UPS management does not want a strike vote to be held, especially not in the largest region in the country. But under the Teamster Constitution, a third No Vote would require the Union to hold a strike vote.
A second No Vote will put UPS under pressure to put a better offer on the table and avoid a third No Vote and strike vote in the Central Region.
That gives members leverage to win gains in full-time jobs, getting rid of the Article17(i) loophole which lets UPS fire Teamsters, and other improvements.
The Hoffa-Hall administration has spent millions of dollars in a sales job to drum up a yes vote. They have done ten times more to sell management’s offer than they ever did to fight for a good contract in the first place, or to enforce our contract.
We urge all Teamsters to consider the issues and cast a vote. One more NO vote can win a better contract in the Central Region.
September 26, 2013: Hoffa and Hall have mailed a phony photo to tens of thousands of UPSers to try to snow them into voting for a bad contract.
Hoffa and Hall’s latest Vote Yes propaganda features package car drivers giving the thumbs up to the contract.
You don’t have to look closely to see the snow on the ground. Pretty odd for a contract that was negotiated in the summer and is being voted on in September.
Hoffa and Hall weren’t able to snow members into accepting substandard Teamcare in the first contract vote. Their latest PR gives “snowjob” a bad name.
September 24, 2013: Some members report that business agents have told members that if they don’t vote Yes on the Central Supplement, they will have no health insurance as of January 1.
This is an outright lie and contradicts what Hoffa and Hall have put in writing: health benefits will be continuous, and there is a signed contract extension in place.
Some of the lies have been spread in the shops, but in Denver Local 455, the BA even stated it at a union meeting held on September 22.
When a used car salesman tells you blatant lies, you shouldn’t buy the car. The first No Vote in the Central Region forced improvements in the health benefits. The second No Vote will finish the job.