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.
August 9, 2013: This is not the first time Ken Hall has played politics with members’ contracts and turned contract negotiations into a scripted performance.
In the last bargaining round, Hall made a surprise announcement at the Teamster Convention that he had just reached a neutrality agreement to unionize UPS Freight.
Hoffa-Hall supporters immediately said the announcement proved there shouldn’t be an election for International Union officers and called on opposition candidates to drop out.
When the smoke cleared, members learned that Hall’s agreement only applied to one UPS Freight terminal in Indianapolis and it only went into effect after Hall had ratified a concessionary contract at UPS.
It all went according to plan. UPSers got concessions and UPS Freight Teamsters got a weak first contract.
This time, UPS and UPS Freight Teamsters didn’t follow the script.
Hoffa waives Ken Hall’s “surprise” neutrality agreement with UPS Freight while Hall celebrates in the background.
July 19, 2013: Hoffa-Hall and management want UPS Teamsters to believe that it’s impossible to win a better contract. UPSers have to decide if they believe Hoffa-Hall or they believe in themselves.
UPSers showed the power of Teamster unity by Voting No against healthcare cuts and concessions and rejecting 18 contract supplements and riders.
Hoffa-Hall and management want UPS Teamsters to believe that it’s impossible to win a better contract. Their strategy for settling the contract is delay. They are waiting for members’ Vote No steam to blow off.
Nearly a month has passed since the unprecedented rejection of 18 supplements and riders, and there’s still no sign of a union plan. No meetings of local officers. No meetings to take proposals from members. No rallying members to win more improvements.
Instead, Ken Hall signed a contract extension with UPS and promptly went into hiding.
The hide-and-delay strategy is designed to wear members down and convince us we can’t win a better contract.
Will it work? That depends on the Teamster rank and file.
In February, Hall rallied with members across the country to tell UPS, “No Way, We Won’t Pay.” Members took his advice and voted against a contract that would make them pay more their healthcare.
The No Vote in most of the supplements shows members are ready to stand up for a better contract. The IBT should be building on that unity and momentum, not discouraging it.
The Vote No movement has already delayed healthcare cuts for 140,000 Teamster families which were scheduled to take effect Aug. 1.
Members deserve more. They want to stop the healthcare cuts and win improvements in our supplements.
Members are sending management the message that they’ll Vote No Until UPS Gets It Right with petitions, stickers and leaflets.
They’re holding organizing meetings to share strategies for keeping members informed, united and ready for the next contract vote.
The only thing that will make it happen is continued solidarity from the rank and file.
Are you ready to do your part? Click here to volunteer with TDU’s Make UPS Deliver network.
“We collected five sheets of petition signatures calling on Hoffa and Hall to help us make major improvements in the Central Region.
“We work far too hard to earn the profits for UPS to be asked to accept a non-stellar contract.”
Stu Malcolm, Steward, Local 164, Jackson, Mich.
“The health insurance and pension are key concerns but we also need to deal with other issues in the Central Supplement. The 17i language – ‘and other serious offenses’ needs to be removed before we even consider voting YES on our supplement.
“I was skeptical of the petitions at first, but when the first Teamster I asked to sign replied, ‘Hell yes, I’ll sign that. I’m so glad that you’re doing this!’ My spirits brightened. The mood of my fellow Teamsters was one that paralleled mine in that they were excited and ready to stand together for contract improvements.”
Josh Edmonds, Local 238, Coralville, Iowa
“My fellow UPS Teamsters, we are in round 2. Teamsters in Southern California and the Southwest are uniting to defend our healthcare, win more full-time jobs and other improvements in our supplement.
“We passed out flyers and got 110 signatures for the ‘Vote No Until UPS Gets It Right’ petition. It was inspiring to see many drivers and part-time employees support our cause and donate money to make more flyers and buy materials to make more signs. We are members of Teamsters Local 542 in San Diego and we are proud to be fighting for a fair contract. Solidarity!”
David Gutierrez Castaño, Local 542, San Diego
Philadelphia Local 623
“In Philadelphia, we’re fighting to maintain our level of health benefits and, in our Supplement, to win more full-time jobs, protect feeder work in our local, and get a stronger grievance procedure that gives us answers instead of the runaround.
“Since Voting No, we’ve held a contract rally at the Airport hub, circulated the petition and we’re organizing a sticker day. Our local officials are trying to discourage the members. We’re working to keep members involved and united.”
Bobby Curry, Local 623, Philadelphia
July 10, 2013: Hoffa and Hall are so out of touch with rank and file Teamsters, they have hired a telemarketing company to ask UPS Teamsters what it will take to settle the contract!
Research Center in Zeeland Michigan is making the calls to a sample of UPS Teamsters from across the country.
Here’s the most interesting question that Hoffa and Hall had the telemarketers ask: “Would it be advisable for the union to reopen the master agreement and renegotiate the health care?”
Hoffa and Hall have told local officials to lie to members and that it is “impossible” to renegotiate healthcare. Now their own survey asks members about doing just that! Read the rest …
July 3, 2013: A scare campaign has started to try to make UPS Teamsters accept the healthcare cuts they rejected by voting down a record number of supplements. This isn’t leadership—this is officials who act like management’s PR team.
What would real Teamster leadership look like at UPS? Ken Hall could tell UPS: “The members have spoken. UPS needs to come to the bargaining table and negotiate healthcare and other improvements. Until that happens, we will hold rallies across the country. And we will not pass a single supplement.”
We think UPS would quickly come to terms. But Hall refuses to back the members and instead acts as management’s PR man. The only way it will happen is if we stay united and prepared to vote No again—coast to coast.
Some local officials are also on management’s PR team. Check these examples.
“An external force and their followers have repeatedly misinformed members…therefore…members will have another opportunity to vote the Supplemental Agreement.” — From the Philadelphia Local 623 official website.
“There is false information going around…Continued rejection of the Supplement and Rider will only move us closer to a work stoppage.” — From a bulletin by Los Angeles Local 63 Sec-Treas. Randy Cammack, who is also an International VP
Let’s translate these into English: The UPS members rejected these supplemental agreements overwhelming, but they were just “misinformed.” So the officials who bargained the supplemental agreement, instead of using that leverage to bargain more, now want to vote the same thing again, hoping to scare and defeat the members. Management is happy to help them; in fact, it’s management’s plan!
They can’t bargain for more full-time jobs in the supplement? They can’t even request the International union bargain to prevent the health care cuts? Nothing. That’s what they intend to do for the members.
So far, Hoffa and Hall have told management “don’t worry, we will control the second vote for you.”
Teamster members have two answers
First, we can Vote No Until UPS Gets it Right. They cannot implement an agreement if we are prepared to vote No once again, in bigger numbers, and in various supplements from California to the Jersey shore.
They may tell you that voting No will delay the raise. But UPS has already signed an extension agreement to make the raise retroactive to August 1. And, they cannot implement the health care cuts on August 1—too bad!
Second, we can work together, starting now, to retire officials—Local and International—who refuse to be accountable to rank-and-file Teamsters. If those who voted No commit to making change in our union, and work together locally and nationally, it will happen. They are counting on UPS Teamsters giving up.
Organizing through Teamsters for a Democratic Union, we can work with a diverse group of Teamsters to put forward new leaders—leaders who will stand with us in working for a better contract and a stronger Teamsters Union.
Want to be part of making it happen? Then join TDU today.
July 3, 2013: The IBT, when soliciting members at US Air and American Airlines, advertises that they have rank-and-file negotiating committees for national contracts. How about at UPS and UPS Freight?!
Not a single UPS Freight or Package Teamster is on the national committee, and some supplemental committees shut them out, too.
The Teamster advertising, called “Teamster Bargaining Structure and Process,” is available here.
It is worth reading to see the details in this good bargaining structure.
And it is true: the national bargaining committee at United Airlines consists mainly of rank-and-file mechanics, and is diverse politically.
It is worth noting that Ron Carey had a diverse UPS national bargaining committee with rank-and-file Teamsters included. And in 1997 we won a historic victory over UPS, giving the entire labor movement a huge boost.
To Hoffa and Hall, suppressing and controlling the rank and file is more important than empowering the rank and file to win.
Not so with TDU. TDU is run by rank-and-file members like you. Click here to join and get more involved.
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).