June 5, 2013: You know something is up when senior management – the suits! – are passing out glossy brochures asking Teamsters to ratify the UPS contract.
That’s exactly what’s happening at the UPS Worldport in Louisville where management has already offered Teamsters a $1,000 bonus for voting yes.
The sales push is hot and heavy. Hoffa and Hall have now sent UPS Teamsters an unprecedented three Vote Yes mailings.
Those mailings are arriving without a hitch, unlike the ballots. The ballots were so messed up in Louisville Local 89 and Indianapolis Local 135 that the IBT had to send “do-over” mailings. Members of Local 135 were given the wrong information regarding their health and pension coverage.
This is on top of the nationwide screw-up in which thousands of UPSers got UPS Freight return envelopes and vice versa.
Management Joins Hoffa-Hall Sales Team
In Louisville Local 89, Teamsters there have already received a barrage of mailings from Hoffa and Hall to vote yes. One of them “coincidentally” arrived the same day as the ballots and blamed Local 89 for a dues hike that was imposed by Ken Hall’s office.
Now management is in on the act. Managers held captive audience meetings and one-on-ones to push a yes vote.
Management also illegally told Teamsters they could not say “vote no” while on the clock. (This violates the National Labor Relations Act which prohibits management from excluding union-related speech. If a worker can say “happy birthday” or “Go Miami Heat” while on the clock then they can legally say “vote no” and it is illegal for management to tell them to stop.)
Now, for what we believe is the first time in UPS’s long history, they are actually directing management to leaflet every Teamster with a fancy brochure urging a Yes vote.
When the car salesman has to resort to this many sales tricks, you may be looking at a lemon.
We urge all UPS Teamsters to send in a ballot. Make your decision and make your voice count. Independent rank and file observers will witness the ballot count.
May 29, 2013: UPS is offering Teamsters in Louisville Local 89 a bribe. Vote Yes and get a $1,000 check!
The Louisville Air Rider Bargaining Committee is demanding pay for all time worked, more full-time jobs and job protections.
UPS ducked these demands by going behind the back of the Local 89 bargaining committee and getting Hall and Hoffa to mail out its “final offer.”
Local 89 is recommending a No Vote on the contract and the Air Rider which covers Worldport, the company’s worldwide air hub.
So the company is offering a one-time $1,000 bonus for all 9,300 UPS Teamsters in Lousiville. $9.3 million sounds like a costly bribe, but to UPS this is chump change to sell a cheap contract.
Management’s Cover Story
Local 89 has demanded, in line with the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, that workers be paid for the time waiting for UPS’s shuttle and travel on it.
In today’s PCM, managers read a script which states that the $1,000 is “payable to all Local 89-represented employees who are eligible to vote on the contract,” and they call it a “Shuttle Incentive.”
It is actually a “Vote Yes Incentive.” The bonus has nothing to do with shuttle pay. A part-timer hired next year would get exactly zero “shuttle incentive” for four years of unpaid time!
Hall’s Hate Mail
Ken Hall also mailed a letter to all Local 89 UPS Teamsters— conveniently received the exact same day as UPS’s bonus offer—attacking the local union over part-time dues.
It’s enough that the International union, for political reasons, has failed to back Local 89′s bargaining demands. Hoffa and Hall don’t have to go from bad to worse by doing the corporation’s PR dirty work for them too.
A contract is a serious matter. It should be debated, pro and con, on its strengths and weaknesses. Bribes, threats and dirty tricks have no place in our union. They weaken us by dividing and alienating the members when we should be coming together to take on the company.
May 29, 2013: The IBT has sent out a mailing listing every local officer by name that was at the two-person meeting in Washington, claiming they “unanimously approve” of the contract.
The list includes officers who are urging a No Vote and even lists the officers from Louisville Local 89 whose website includes a long explanation about why members should vote no.
The “unanimous support” lie is especially outrageous at UPS Freight where many local unions are not supporting the first offer.
The truth is a large number of officers abstained on the motion to approve the UPS and UPS Freight contracts until the changes could be carefully reviewed and discussed with members.
If the Hoffa-Hall administration really believed in what they’ve negotiated, would they really have to pretend that support is “unanimous”?
May 24, 2013: New contract language would strip local unions of autonomy to enforce contract.
Lost in the hubbub about healthcare and harassment, the new contract includes changes that take autonomy away from local unions and consolidate power in the hands of the International Union Package Division.
For example: the contract would strip local unions of the right to pull out of company-dominated safety committees without the International’s permission (Article 18). Local unions from New England to Ohio to New York pulled out of safety committees to protest harassment, unsafe conditions, and management arrogance.
Teamsters in the Central Region have had a hammer for taking on contract violations—the right to strike on deadlocked grievances. Teamster officials in the Central Region haven’t used this right, but UPS isn’t taking any chances. Deadlocked grievances would now get punted for settlement between top UPS brass and the International. If that doesn’t work, Teamsters in the Central Region still can’t strike over deadlocked grievances without the IBT’s permission, something that was never required before.
The new 9.5 language gives only the IBT the power to meet with UPS about staffing levels when there are excessive 9.5 grievances at the local level. Why not give local unions the power to meet with management to review staffing and dispatch data when excessive overtime is out of control?
All Teamsters want a strong national union. But we need to be able to enforce the contract at the local union level. Look at the company’s attack on 22.3 jobs.
Under the contract, only the International union is entitled to a complete list of the full-time jobs under Article 22.3. This has allowed management to play a shell game with these jobs because no local union can effectively counter the company when it claims it has moved 22.3 jobs to another local.
This problem was supposed to be fixed in the national contract with language that requires UPS to keep 22.3 jobs in the local where they are created. It wasn’t. Contract enforcement remains in the hands of the International union, and Teamster members and our local unions remain at a disadvantage.
It’s no accident that the contract shifts power away from local unions and up to the International. UPS would rather deal with Teamster officials in Washington who are far from the members than with local officers who are subject to pressure from the membership.
The power grab also works for Ken Hall who holds his power like a carrot and stick over local officers whose support he wants in the next IBT election.
UPS Teamsters can still enforce our contract. But we’ve got to get organized in our centers and locals. Building pressure from the bottom is the best way to get results at the top.
Speaking at the UPS National Grievance Panel in Florida last week, Ken Hall confirmed the International Union is looking to early contract negotiations with UPS.
Hall, the head of the IBT Package Division and our union’s lead negotiator at UPS, was vague about the timeline, but mentioned October as a possible date for entering early contract negotiations.
The current contract at UPS does not expire until July 31, 2013.
Hoffa and Hall have promised UPS will curb production harassment, hire more package drivers and respect members’ 9.5 rights.
It’s up to Teamster members to hold Hoffa and Hall to their pledge and to Make UPS Deliver on these commitments.
The Hoffa administration has looked the other way while UPS has accelerated its SurePost program—a new service that allows UPS to deliver some residential shipments through the post office instead of package car Teamsters.
Letter to Package Division Director Ken Hall from Local 243 Package Car Driver Martin Labut.
Surepost and UPS Basic to the Post Office is eliminating full-time jobs. We have drivers laid off for the first time I can remember in the summer max vacation period. Every day, routes are cut and combined. We lose about three routes a day out of 30 some routes in our center. We are delivering over 1,000 packages to the post office a week.
UPS management is so confident of their cozy relationship with IBT President James Hoffa that they are crowing about it to industry executives.
UPS CEO Scott Davis told a gathering of CEOs and financial analysts on June 1 that, “The relationship with the Teamsters is better than it’s ever been before.” (Stanford C. Bernstein 27th Strategic Decisions Conference, 06/01/2011).
With all of the violations happening at UPS, you would think our union’s biggest contract would have been a hot topic at the recent Teamster Convention.
Under fire for weak contract enforcement at UPS, Hoffa and Ken Hall convened a national conference call last summer to brief shop stewards and promise International Union action.
But more than six months later, Hoffa and Hall remain out of touch and missing in action. Read the rest …
Do you want them negotiating another UPS contract? Can we afford more of the same? Read the rest …
For two years, the Hoffa administration looked the other way while UPS eliminated full-time jobs.
Read the rest …
Hoffa and Hall surrender one of the biggest gains of the 1997 strike.
Read the rest …