What Would Real Leadership Look Like at UPS?

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.

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