Teamsters in Action
UPS Teamsters speak out on the contract fight and how we can keep organizing for a stronger union and against corporate greed.
Click here to get a leaflet on those proposals. Copy and distribute widely.
Teamster officials now claim that in September they will reveal to members what healthcare benefits will be included in the next offer, and then will bargain with UPS over other vital issues.
We need to stay united and be prepared to Say No One More Time to win gains and protect our healthcare benefits.
August 30 Day of Action
Some UPS Teamsters in the Southwest are organizing rallies and gate-leafleting for tomorrow, August 30. This marks two full months since the historic No vote.
We encourage all UPS Teamsters to get the word out in the weeks to come.
August 9, 2013: UPS Teamsters have shown they have more fight than Hoffa-Hall and the International Union when it comes to taking on concessions.
After voting down 18 supplements, members are continuing to organize to rebuild union power at UPS.
Philadelphia: Taking on UPS. Taking Back Their Local.
After rejecting their supplement 756 to 227, Philadelphia Local 623 launched a petition drive to defend their healthcare and win improvements in their supplement, including more full-time 22.3 jobs, language to protect the local’s feeder runs, and a stronger grievance procedure. And they’re not stopping there.
Bobby Curry (far right), a leader in the Vote No Movement, is heading up the Integrity Slate a reform team running for local union office.
“Members want union leaders that will stand up to UPS. We’re tired of being disrespected by this company and by our own union officials,” Curry said.
Southern California: Building TDU and Rank-and-File Power
Teamsters in San Diego say NO to givebacks and YES to getting involved in their union. Local 542 members formed a TDU Committee and are leafleting, holding parking lot rallies, and distributing “Vote No Until UPS Gets it Right” stickers and petitions. A Southern California Organizing meeting will be held on August 25.
Upstate NY Teamsters:
Beating Concessions, Winning Improvements
By Voting No and standing united, UPSers in Upstate NY have gotten the company to pull some concessions off the table. Language that would have allowed four 10-hour day schedules in the feeder department and imposed new restrictions on leaves of absences and job bidding rights have been struck from the contract.
“The language on four 10-hour days and restricting bidding rights should’ve never been in there in the first place. We still have serious concerns about our pension plan and cuts to retiree healthcare. Members are joining TDU and we’re holding our first meeting to work together to protect our rights and benefits.”
Mark Greene, Local 294, Albany, N.Y.
Central Region Teamsters Take Aim at Supplement
Central Region Teamsters came into contract negotiations with clear, achievable goals for improving their supplement, including eliminating the dreaded 17(i) catch-all loophole that lets management fire Teamsters for “other serious offenses.” UPS Teamsters in Indiana, Iowa and Ohio are holding TDU meetings and organizing against concessions in St. Louis, Michigan, Kentucky and beyond.
“We collected 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.
Getting Organized in Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania
“UPSers in Western Pennsylvania came together to vote down our Supplement. Now we’re getting even more organized. We’ve held our first TDU meeting. If we want to be able to stand up to UPS, we’ve got to get more members informed, involved and united.”
Rich Siget, Local 261, New Castle, Pa.
Click here to download a Contract Update and pass out copies to other Teamsters.
UPS Teamsters at the TDU Convention
UPS Teamsters from across the country will meet at the TDU Convention in Chicago, Nov. 1-3 to share strategies for rebuilding Teamster Power and putting new leadership in the IBT.
The Convention features workshops on effective grievance handling, organizing around health and safety, taking on contract violations and production harassment, and more.
A special UPS National Meeting will be held on Sunday morning. Meet activists in the Vote No movement, shop stewards, and local union officers.
“I’ll Be There”
“During contract negotiations, I turned to TDU for answers. TDU helped me get organized with other UPS Teamsters to spread our Vote No movement. I’m going to my first TDU Convention to become a more empowered, active Teamster.”
Kurt Marchetta, Local 542, San Diego
August 4, 2013: In the 1990s Teamsters stood up to UPS, and won. August 4 makes the anniversary of the start of the victorious UPS strike — a lesson in rank and file power.
On August 4, 1997, UPS Teamsters hit the streets at UPS. The ’97 strike at UPS won the labor movement’s biggest victory in decades.
UPS hasn’t changed much since 1997, but our Teamsters Union has.
In 1997, UPS was making big profits. Today, UPS’s profits are bigger than ever: $4.5 billion last year alone.
In 1997, UPS attacked our pension benefits. Today, UPS is targeting our healthcare and retiree healthcare.
In 1997, UPS fought full-time job creation. Today it’s more of the same.
Our International Union once stood up to UPS and 1997 was the best example. The IBT didn’t deal with the company behind closed doors. Members were informed and involved and our union took our case to the public.
Our International Union didn’t try to force members to take the company’s “last, best and final offer.” They made the company eat those words and put a better contract on the table.
The short video America’s Victory: The 1997 UPS Strike tells the story and shows what Teamster Power looks like. We had it before and we can have it again. Help make it happen. Join TDU today.
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
One thousand UPS Teamsters just held a national conference call to discuss plans to fight healthcare cuts and win a better contract.
Members in supplements across the country are passing out bulletins, planning parking lot meetings, and circulating petitions to tell Hoffa-Hall and the company: “We’ll Keep Voting No Until UPS Gets it Right!”
TDU is helping to network UPS Teamsters who want to get involved with these efforts.
Now’s the time to stand up for our healthcare and our contract—not stand on the sidelines.
Stand with your Teamster brothers and sisters. Click here to get involved with the campaign to Make UPS Deliver a better contract.
“We voted the UPS contract down in the Central Region by working together. We made Vote No t-shirts and passed out information at our buildings. Members got informed and involved.
“Now we’ve got to keep moving ahead. TDU is the only group that brings UPS Teamsters together across the country. That’s why I’m TDU. Isn’t it time you joined too?”
Rhonda Hanshaw, Local 413, Columbus, Ohio
Click here to join TDU.
“We’ll Keep Voting No Until UPS Gets it Right” stickers are now available from TDU.
UPS Teamsters are keeping the pressure on the company and the IBT to negotiate better health benefits and other contract improvements with petitions and bulletins with a simple message: “We’ll Keep Voting No Until UPS Gets it Right.”
Stickers with the same message are now available from TDU.
All UPS Teamsters have the right to wear these stickers before and after your shift.
UPS Teamsters who don’t have customer contact can wear the stickers while on the job.
Click here to order your stickers from TDU’s store.
Click here to get involved with TDU’s Make UPS Deliver campaign.
July 3, 2013: UPS Teamsters have launched a petition drive asking members to pledge to Vote No until UPS delivers a better contract.
Members are working with TDU in virtually all the areas where supplements and riders were rejected to spread the word and vote down the contract again in even bigger numbers if improvements aren’t made.
UPS members have produced leaflets and petitions addressing specific issues in the supplements and riders, but the message is the same: we’re united and prepared to keep Voting No until UPS gets it right.
The International union and many local officials are out spreading the lie that it is impossible to make any changes. It’s only impossible if Hall doesn’t bargain for them; and only continued solidarity and pressure from members can make that happen.
Click here to join TDU (and save $10 if you do it this week) and become apart of the national movement to make UPS deliver what we deserve.
“People are thirsty for information. The petition is a great way to talk with other Teamsters and get them caught up with what’s happening after the solid NO vote. My first time out, I got over 100 to sign on. We’re ready to vote NO again if we don’t get what we deserve.”
Bruce Carpenter, Local 580, Lansing, Mich.
“In Local 177 we voted our supplement down in big numbers. But, some of the people I talk to think we’ve already lost. If we do nothing, yeah, but not if we get out there and try. We have another vote! Members in Local 177 are working together and collecting hundreds of signatures to say: no healthcare cuts, protect our benefits and retiree healthcare. We’ve got power if we stand together. We already demonstrated that once, and we’re prepared to do it again.”
Mike Venezia, Local 177, New Jersey
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.
June 27, 2013: Hoffa and Hall have issued a statement admitting that the UPS contract was rejected in many areas because of the changes in the health care plan. But UPS Teamsters will need to keep up the heat to win real health care improvements.
The IBT press release of June 26 states: “A provision in the contract that changes the health care plan for some UPS Teamsters led to the rejection of 17 local supplements and riders to the national agreement.”
Actually 18 supplements and riders were rejected. But who’s counting? The main point is that Hoffa and Hall got one message at least from the historic Vote No movement that rejected UPS supplements which cover 63% of all UPS Teamsters.
Now the question is, what will they do about it?
Ken Hall and UPS have been sent back to the bargaining table.
The danger is that they will only make token changes in the health care cuts and then try to push through the contract on a second vote.
Members need to stay strong, organized and prepared to organize an even bigger No Vote, if necessary, the second time around.
TDU is holding a national conference call of UPS Teamsters on Sun, June 30 to update members, answer questions and help build the Vote No movement. Click here to join the call.
Members in some areas are already distributing bulletins and petitions to tell the company and the IBT that they will Vote No until UPS gets the contract right.
The healthcare cuts are not the only problem with the contract. Louisville Local 89 is standing up for more 22.3 full time jobs, and so are many other Teamsters, including members at the big airport hubs in Southern California (Ontario) and Philadelphia.
The four-year progression is a ridiculous giveback to a company that made $4.5 billion—and eliminating it would be relatively cheap for the company.
In the Central Region, members want more than token improvements in their pension (the lowest in the country) and elimination of the loophole in 17i which lets the company fire Teamsters for “other serious offenses.”
The historic rejection of 18 supplements gives the rank and file leverage to win contract improvements. But we’ve got our work cut out for us and a lot of organizing to do.
Click here to get the call in information for the national conference call of UPS Teamsters on Sunday, June 30.
UPS Teamsters across the country are working with TDU to win a better contract. Click here to let us know you want get involved with the petition drive or other efforts to keep members informed and united.
Click here for a local-by-local chart of all the contract votes.
We’ll Keep Voting No Until UPS Gets It Right
UPS Teamster Conference Call
Sunday, June 30 * 7 pm Eastern / 6 pm Central / 5 pm Mtn / 4 pm Pacific
The historic rejection of 18 supplements and riders gives UPS Teamsters leverage to reverse the healthcare cuts and win contract improvements.
Ken Hall and UPS are headed back to the bargaining table. They need to see that UPS Teamsters are informed, organizing and ready to Vote No until UPS gets it right.
UPSers will hold a national conference call on Sunday, June 30 to talk about what’s next in contract negotiations and how members can coordinate nationally and in our supplements to fight for contract improvements.
- Get the facts on what the Teamster Constitution says about contract negotiations and what can happen next.
- Get answers to your questions and share strategies for keeping members informed and united.
May 24, 2013: Ken Hall vowed UPSers would not pay for our healthcare.
But under the tentative agreement, 140,000 UPSers would be moved into an inferior plan that will force them to pay a lot more for healthcare.
Just a few months ago, Teamsters turned out across the country in huge numbers to attend rallies and chant, “No way, we won’t pay!”
Now healthcare concessions has gone from uniting Teamsters against UPS to uniting many members against the contract.
Opposition to the healthcare givebacks has run especially high in locals where both full-timers and part-timers would be moved into the Central States TEAMcare plan.
This includes Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, most of Ohio and Missouri, Southern California, and the Southwest.
TEAMcare would mean more deductibles, higher Rx costs, limited dental coverage, and higher co-pays on everything from ERs to lab tests, MRIs and procedures.
Members opposed to the cuts have passed out bulletins and FAQs put out by Make UPS Deliver at UPS and at contract meetings.
In Philadelphia Local 623, members printed up their own Vote No T-shirts and have flooded the air hub there.
“It feels good to walk around the second largest air hub in the U.S. and see nothing but Vote No T-shirts,” said Local 623 member Bobby Curry.
A “Vote No on UPS Contract” Facebook page has connected 2,000 followers who are getting active around the healthcare concessions.
Some Western locals and New Jersey Local 177 got an extension to Nov. 1 to find an alternative plan. But they get the same reduced money from UPS to pay for coverage, which is less than members’ current plan costs.
Any alternative to TEAMcare would only have to match the benefits in Central States TEAMcare, not the current plan.
UPS is making $5 billion a year and Teamsters were promised no concessions.
Why did the International Union agree to healthcare cuts?
“It seems ridiculous that a company earning record profits can’t maintain what we already have,” said Roger Austin from Local 215 in Evansville, Ind. “They seem to have forgotten they negotiate for us, not themselves.”
May 24, 2013: Contract negotiations started on a high note. UPS was making record profits. When the company demanded healthcare concessions, it was standing room only at Teamster rallies.
Members were ready to fight for their healthcare. But our International Union wasn’t.
Angry members who feel blindsided on healthcare are organizing a Vote No movement in many areas.
They are passing out leaflets, talking in break rooms, wearing Vote No T-shirts, and have a “Vote No on UPS Contract” Facebook page.
They are gunning to shoot down the national contract and some supplements too.
If history is any guide, the contract will certainly go down in locals where members are organized and taking coordinated action.
That’s what happened last time. The national contract passed with 65 percent of the vote. But it was rejected in numerous locals where TDUers and other reformers got active—including in New York Local 804 where members rejected their supplement by a three-to-one vote.
By voting no, Local 804 members saved 25-and-out pensions. They kept organizing and took back their union in the next local election. And they just negotiated the best supplement in the country.
Rank-and-file organizing can pay off—but there are few quick fixes.
If we want to win lasting changes, we’ve got to be organized.
TDU is the only independent movement that brings Teamsters together in our locals and across the country to rebuild union power.
Take the first step toward winning better contracts and standing up to UPS. Join TDU. Meet other active Teamsters and learn proven strategies for getting members involved and rebuilding union power.
“If it wasn’t for TDU, we wouldn’t have known the facts about the contract. Without TDU, we’d just be going along with the program and getting taken for a ride. Instead we’re organizing members to defend our healthcare and fight for what we deserve from this company. We’re proud to be building TDU at UPS in Philadelphia and across the country.”
Nathan “Jumbo” Daniels
Local 623, Philadelphia
May 24, 2013: UPS Teamsters in New York win pension increases, more full-time jobs, and grievance procedure reform.
New York Local 804 members entered UPS contract negotiations with high expectations and steep challenges.
Their pensions had been frozen for more than a decade. Management has been eroding full-time 22.3 jobs and taking advantage of a broken grievance procedure.
Local 804 members have the advantage of having their own supplement which covers 6,000 UPS Teamsters in New York.
But that hasn’t resulted in contract gains in Local 804 since 1997. In fact, Local 804 pensions have been frozen for more than a decade and UPS nearly eliminated 25-and-out pensions in the last supplement.
“To win a good contract, we knew we had to bargain in a different way,” said Tim Sylvester, Local 804 president.
This time, Local 804 launched a contract campaign a year early.
The local formed a Contract Action Team of stewards and volunteers tasked with keeping members informed and involved—with regular contract bulletins, parking lot meetings, and rallies. Members wore stickers and posted placards in their windshields.
The majority of the Local 804 bargaining committee were stewards and members and they participated in all negotiations.
“UPS saw that members were informed and involved. When we told the company, we were going to Vote No if they didn’t improve their contract offer, they knew we could deliver on that threat,” said Vinnie Perrone, a package steward and negotiating committee member.
More than 3,000 members filled out a contract survey that the Contract Action Team distributed in parking lot meetings at every building.
“Those surveys were our guide at the bargaining table,” said Dorothy Hanlon, a package driver and negotiating committee member. “Our priorities were defined by the members: higher pensions, more full-time jobs and a better grievance procedure.”
Membership unity and an organized contract campaign paid off. The new Local 804 Supplement includes:
Pension Increases: Local 804 members won a $400 pension increase—the biggest in the country without any wage diversion. By the end of the contract, members will be able to retire with 25-and-out benefits of $3,500 a month and 30-and-out (or 25-at-age-55) benefits of $4,000 a month.
Grievance Procedure Reform: Members will no longer have to spend a year or more waiting for their suspension or termination to be heard. Beginning, Jan. 1, 2014, disciplinary cases will be heard before a grievance panel of representatives from Local 804 and the company—with an arbitrator sitting in on the case in the event of a deadlock. If the union and company deadlock, an arbitrator will issue a decision within ten days.
Full-Time Jobs: UPS must create 100 new full-time combo jobs in Local 804 by Aug. 1, 2014.
“This is the best supplement we’ve seen in a long, long time,” said Mark Cohen a package car driver and Contract Action Team volunteer. “It’s amazing the results you can get when you mobilize the members to take a stand against the company.”
Videos documenting the Local 804 contract campaign in action can be seen at www.teamsterslocal804.org