April 2, 2014: “When you work as a team, you can win supervisors working grievances, put extra money in your wallet and build Teamster unity on the job too.”
Nick Perry, Local 413, Columbus
Working at UPS is exhausting and the company always wants it done yesterday. It can be tempting to look at supervisors working as a necessary evil, even a helping hand.
But supervisors aren’t helping us when they do bargaining unit work. They’re taking money out of our wallets. Whenever a supervisor works, a Teamster loses the opportunity to get extra hours, and extra money in their paycheck.
Management always has an excuse for supervisors working, like blaming attendance.
But the contract clearly puts the burden on the company to “maintain a sufficient workforce to staff its operations” with Teamsters and not to “send any employee home and then have such employee’s work performed by a supervisor.” (Article 7, Section 3).
The contract only works if we make it work.
TDU members have won tens of thousands of dollars by filing Supervisors Working grievances. You can get double-time pay for supervisors working violations too.
Get the TDU guide on how to Make UPS Pay for Supervisors Working, including:
- A Make UPS Pay for Supervisors Working flyer. Filing supervisors working grievances can backfire if you don’t explain why you’re doing it to other members and work in a group.
- Contract Enforcement Tips, including do’s and don’ts and advice from successful contract enforcers.
- Grievance Checklist: a guide on how to prepare and document winning sups working grievances.
Get the Make UPS Pay for Supervisors Working guide here.
Production Harassment in the Hub
Is management handing out excessive discipline for misloads or missorts?
Get Fighting Harassment for Inside Workers, a one-page guide that explains how members can defend themselves in the office and through the grievance procedure.
Find out more here.
When an expected 82 cruise ships arrive in San Francisco next year, most will be tied-up, secured and provisioned by ILWU members at the brand new James R. Herman Cruise Terminal on Pier 27, a $100 million-dollar, 88,000 square foot facility that will soon open for business on the city’s historic Embarcadero waterfront where the 1934 maritime strike helped establish the ILWU.
While passengers use the new terminal to check their luggage, pass through security and confirm ticketing, they’ll also have a unique chance to learn more about the waterfront and ILWU history – thanks to an effort led by ILWU Local leaders, including Local 34 President Sean Farley.
“We’re supporting a special area inside the cruise terminal that will educate the public about Jimmy Herman, the ILWU, labor unions and the working class,” says Farley who is working on the project with Former San Francisco Mayor Art Agnos, ILWU Historian Harvey Schwartz and ILWU Librarian/Archivist Robin Walker.
“We have a rare chance to reach more than 200,000 visitors each year with a positive message about the ILWU – but the project needs donations for the dream to be realized,” explained Farley.
The response so far has been positive. Contributions have been received from ILWU Locals 500, 92, 63-A, 40, 14, 12 and 5, plus the Inlandboatmen’s Union National Office and IBU Puget Sound Region. Teamsters Local 350 also sent a generous donation.
Support has also come from Auxiliaries 5 and 17, and from the Columbia River Pensioner’s, Longview Pension Group, Vancouver (BC) Pensioners Club, and Vancouver Island Pensioner’s Club. Donations from individuals include: Laurence G. Bailey, Richard and Dagmar Barsch, Frank W. Best, Jon and Jeanette Borst, P. L. Boryer, Thomas and Vickie Christy, Paul and Barbara Donohue, and Delbert and Susan Green.
Donations will be used to finish the memorial inside the new terminal that will honor Jimmy Herman, who succeeded Harry Bridges as ILWU International President and served from 1977 to 1991. Herman also spent 16 years on the San Francisco Port Commission, the public agency that built the new cruise ship terminal and dedicated it in Herman’s honor.
ILWU Local 10 President Melvin Mackay noted, “This is the only cruise terminal in the world dedicated to a labor leader, and Jimmy Herman is one of our own,” Mackay urged members and locals to consider donating to the project. “This is a special opportunity to ensure the ILWU’s legacy and honor an important labor leader” he said. Tax-deductible checks can be made to: “James R. Herman Memorial Committee” c/o Local 34, 4 Berry Street, San Francisco, CA 94107.
Delegates who attended the Coast Longshore Division Caucus in San Francisco last month, provided a warm embrace to Honduran dock union leader Victor Crespo and two co-workers who addressed the Caucus on March 4.
Delegates pledged their solidarity and unanimously voted to convene the two-week Caucus in honor of Crespo’s father, who was killed by anti-union death squads in Honduras on January 27.
Before delegates left town, there was one last piece of unfinished business – a group visit to the Honduran Consulate in San Francisco on Friday, March 7th.
Around noon, a large group of delegates, pensioners and supporters gathered for a short but spirited march along San Francisco’s historic Market Street, where dockworkers and supporters had marched silently eighty years ago to honor the martyrs who were killed during the West Coast Maritime Strike on March 5, 1934 – Bloody Thursday.
When the crowd arrived at the office building housing the Honduran Consulate, marchers quickly filled the hallways, staircases and elevators that led to the Honduran Consulate on the 5th floor.
ILWU International President Bob McEllrath, Vice President Ray Familathe and Southern California Pensioners Group President Greg Mitre entered the Consulate offices and requested a meeting with the Honduran official in charge.
While members chanted outside in the hallways, McEllrath, Familathe and Mitre met with the Honduran official to explain the problems that followed ICTSI’s newly privatized terminal operation at Puerto Cortés in Honduras where union members have faced violent attacks from police, military troops and antiunion death squads. Details about Victor Crespo’s case were provided, including the recent attacks by death squads who murdered Crespo’s father and injured his mother.
“We made it clear to the consulate that these kind of attacks on workers and unions were outrageous and unacceptable, no matter where in the world they happen,” said McEllrath. After receiving assurance that the ILWU’s concerns would be immediately conveyed to top Honduran government officials, the group left the Consulate, vowing to return if necessary.
“I think we made our point,” McEllrath told the crowd of supporters who assembled outside the consulate building after the event.
“And we’ll keep pushing until there’s justice for our brothers and sisters in Honduras.
April 3, 2014: Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his “I’ve been to the mountaintop” speech in Memphis on April 3, 1968.
King was there to support sanitation workers striking to protest low wages and poor working conditions.
He was assassinated the next day.Labor Movement
NY Daily News: UPS dismisses 250 Queens drivers after they protested against long-time employee's dismissal
The unionized drivers at the Maspeth facility walked off the job for 90 minutes Feb. 26 to protest the firing of long-time employee and union activist Jairo Reyes. Public Advocate Letitia James has contacted UPS to ask them to change their tactics.
UPS has delivered a special message to 250 of its Queens drivers: You’re fired!
The Atlanta-based company is booting 250 of its unionized drivers from its Maspeth facility because they walked off the job for 90 minutes Feb. 26 to protest the dismissal of a long-time employee, UPS told the Daily News.
Twenty employees were terminated Monday after their shifts — and the remaining 230 notified that they’ll be canned as soon as replacements are trained, a company spokesman said.
“They just called me in ... (and) said, ‘Effective immediately, you are no longer on the payroll,’” said Steve Curcio, 41, a 20-year employee earning $32 an hour.
The mass firing has enraged Tim Sylvester, head of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 804, especially since the company gets some lucrative perks from the city.
United Parcel Service has a contract worth $43 million to provide delivery services to city and state agencies, according to documentation from city officials.
It’s also enrolled in a Department of Finance program that saves it millions annually on fines and fees for parking tickets.
UPS confirmed that it participates in the city program that expedites ticket payment and in some cases halves or wipes out penalties. But a spokesman refused to say how much the stipulated fine program saved the company.
However, city data from 2006 shows UPS paid nearly $20 million in parking fines that year. That amount fell to $1 million a quarter for parking fines in 2013, after Mayor Bloomberg created the stipulated-fine program, according to published reports.
“UPS takes millions from the city and yet it’s going to bankrupt 250 families just because our guys stood up for a fellow worker,” said Sylvester.
A UPS spokesman said the drivers knew their jobs were on the line when they chose to walk out.
The workers were protesting the firing of Jairo Reyes, a 24-year-employee and union activist, said Sylvester.
Several city politicians hope to bring both sides to the table for talks.
“These are middle class jobs that sustain families, and we can ill afford to have (so many) adversely affected by a rash decision,” said Public Advocate Letitia James, who’s written
UPS a letter asking the company to abandon its hard-line approach. “We’ve given UPS breaks, particularly as it relates to this (parking) program,” James said. “They should not treat workers in this manner.”
One of the workers who faces dismissal just got back on the job following a near-fatal accident.
Domenick DeDomenico, 40, was in a coma for 10 days after getting hit by a car last year while delivering packages for UPS. He fought back from serious brain injuries and needed a year of speech and physical therapy.
Cleared to resume work on Jan. 17 , DeDomenico was threatened with dismissal by UPS even before he joined the Feb. 26 walkout.
“I wasn’t delivering as many packages as before I got hurt,” said the married dad. He used to clock in at 13 an hour, but now averages between 10 and 11.
“I said I was doing my best and they said I had been better before,” he said. “I said ‘Okay, this is my new best,’ and they said ‘It’s not good enough.’ ”
gotis [at] nydailynews [dot] com
April 2, 2014: UPS has threatened 250 New York Local 804 members with termination, and on March 31, management fired 20 of them in a mean-spirited escalation of the dispute.
Elected officials and the public are rallying behind Local 804 members and pressing UPS to get to the table and settle the dispute, as reported today in the New York Daily News.
On Feb. 26, UPS fired a union activist in violation of the grievance procedure. Two hundred fifty members walked off the job in protest.
The walkout lasted about two hours. Drivers delivered their message to UPS and then they returned to work and delivered their packages.
UPS issued notices of termination to all of them.
The company’s actions have drawn the ire of political leaders and the public. U.S. Congressional Reps and State Senators and Assembly Members have issued support statements and contacted UPS management.
On March 21, elected officials rallied with Local 804 members and delivered over 100,000 petition signatures to UPS.
A resolution has been introduced to the City Council calling on UPS to revoke the terminations and settle the dispute with Local 804.
Elected officials point out that UPS does over $40 million in business annually with the City of New York and New York State and gets a $15 million break every year from the City in reduced fines on traffic tickets.
The workers, the union and the public are united. UPS should revoke the firings and settle the dispute.Issues: UPS
Tired of excessive overtime and management stiffing drivers who try to use their 9.5 rights?
Use the 9.5 Rights Enforcement Packet from TDU.
The packet includes guidelines on who’s eligible for 9.5, step-by-step instructions for enforcing 9.5, and the forms you need to document a winning grievance, including a documentation form.
9.5 Eligibility Guide: A clear guilde on who's eligibile for 9.5 and instructions on how to enforce your 9.5 rights.
9.5 Enforcement Form: Use this form to document 9.5 violations and chart the steps to take to pursue your grievance.
9.5 Opt-In Form: Easy-to-use form to use to opt-in to the 9.5 list.
“We used to get killed with excessive overtime. Now for the first time we have a plan and we’re enforcing the language. We have 19 drivers on the list in my center. We’ve gotten the loads adjusted for the most part and where there’s still an issue we’re filing grievances and fighting for triple time pay. It’s all about bringing quality of life back to the package car driver.”
Frank Hay Local 251, Providence, R.I.Issues: UPSTeamster Voice: Teamster Voice 289 April 2014
April 2, 2014: If you’re being questioned by UPS management, you have the right to union representation—even if those questions are not part of a disciplinary interview.
UPS Teamsters have rights that go beyond Weingarten thanks to our Teamster contract—and an important arbitration victory by Teamsters Local 804.
UPS Teamsters have the right to union representation whenever management is conducting a investigation of any kind.
This includes investigations into accidents or questions in the office about production numbers of what happened on the route that day—even if there’s no disciplinary action on the table.
If management is asking questions as part of an investigation, you have the right to a shop steward. Period. Until a shop steward is present, management cannot start the meeting or ask questions.
These rights are all spelled out in Article 4 of the contract. But UPS management, including Loss Prevention, frequently violates the contract by questioning members on the side and coercing members to waive their rights to union representation without any shop steward present.
Local 804 took this issue to the national grievance panel. When it deadlocked there, the local took it to arbitration—and won. The arbitrator ruled that a member cannot waive their right to union representation until a shop steward is present. And no member should ever waive their right to union representation!
For a copy of this arbitration decision, contact TDU.Issues: UPSTeamster Voice: Teamster Voice 289 April 2014
March 31, 2014: Unlike many Teamsters, James Hoffa got a nice raise last year. His salary went up by $4,000 to $300,788. But there’s more: His “housing allowance” ballooned to $67,358, so his total compensation went up to $381,409. Ken Hall gets that outsized perk also; Halls’s total compensation was $301,519.
Their appointees and International vice presidents got similar “cost of living” raises, according to the union’s LM-2 2013 financial report just filed with the U.S. Department of Labor.
Our union remained the same size as the year previous: 1.258 million.
You can review the financial report of your local union. These LM-2 reports were required to be filed by March 31.
The Teamster Rank & File Education and Legal Defense Foundation (TRF) will research all Teamster LM-2 (and LM-3 and IRS 990) forms and will publish the results later this year.
We believe knowledge is power, and we provide it to the members. You can review a summary of last year’s report.Hoffa Watch
After another marathon negotiation session, no deal was reached between Chittenden County Transportation Authority management and the Teamsters Local 597 bus drivers’ union, the two sides said Saturday.
Teamsters business agent Tony St. Hilaire said the negotiation using a federal mediator lasted 17 hours, and at the end, there was still no contract agreement. No further negotiations are scheduled at this time, St. Hilaire said.
Click here to read more at the Burlington Free Press.Issues: Bus Drivers
From the Gainesville IWW
This month 7 of the 10 Citizens Co-op Workers in Gainesville, Flordia, petitioned to have a union with the IWW. In response Citizens Co-op fired 5 of them and 2 of them are now on strike. The Gainesville IWW has created a strike fund to help support both fired and on strike workers while they stand up for their rights and the values of a cooperative. Donate to the strike fund and find out more on Facebook and Tumblr.
March 28, 2014: Bus service is at a standstill, but solidarity is on the rise as a Teamster strike shutting down Vermont’s largest public transit system continues.
More than 50 people spoke out at an Emergency Meeting of the City Council in Burlington, Vt. to discuss the strike at the Chittenden County Transit Authority which began on March 17.
The Council passed a resolution calling for a settlement that gets “drivers back to work with a fair and equitable contract” and restores “needed transportation services.”
The resolution also calls on management to report back to the City Council every two months about “labor management relations” even after the strike is over.
Unfair discipline, including management’s abuse of anonymous tips, and the Chittenenden County Transit Authority’s (CCTA) predatory management style have been a hot button issue in the strike.
Driver fatigue, scheduling, and public safety are also key concerns. A typical work day for drivers already begins at 7 a.m. and ends at 7:30 p.m., a 12½ hour spread for which workers get paid only seven hours. Management wants to increase the spread of hours even more to 13½ hours a day.
Community groups, unions, and the public are uniting in support of the drivers. Labor and community supporters have been a fixture on the picket lines, at press conferences, and before the City Council.
Teamsters Local 251 in Providence joined the action this week, sending up the Local’s tractor trailer to support strikers at the main picket line in downtown Burlington.
Bus service is at a standstill but solidarity is on the rise.
Click here to see a video report on this story.Issues: Bus Drivers
Truckers at Port Metro Vancouver reached a deal to end a strike that began March 10, the Vancouver Sun reported.
As part of the deal the Canadian government agreed to increase trip rates for truckers by 12% over 2006 rates for all container moves, whether the moves are full or empty.
The government also agreed to regulate a minimum rate for hourly drivers, expected to be C$25.13 for new hires and C$26.28 for drivers with one year of service, the paper reported.
There also will be a new escalating fee arrangement for wait times at the port. After 90 minutes of waiting, owner-operators will be paid C$50, after two hours the fee increases another C$25, and after two-and-a-half hours another C$25 and every half-hour after that they’ll receive C$20, according to the Sun.
The deal also withdraws back-to-work legislation that included penalties of up to $400 per day for workers and $10,000 per day for the union.
“There are financial wins in the plan for truckers,” Port CEO Robin Silvester said in the statement. “It is in all of our best interests that truckers come out of this dispute with their issues resolved, because disruptions like this hurt each of us.”
Drivers who had their licenses suspended during the strike but who were not criminally charged will get back their papers.Issues: Labor Movement
March 27, 2014: UPS has threatened 250 Local 804 members with termination. But politicians and the public are calling on the company to make a U-turn.
On Feb. 26, UPS fired a union activist in violation of the grievance procedure. Two hundred fifty Local 804 members walked off the job in protest. UPS issued notices of termination notices to all of them.
The company’s actions have drawn the ire of political leaders and the public.
On March 21, elected officials rallied with Local 804 members and delivered over 100,000 petition signatures to UPS management.
A resolution has been introduced to the City Council calling on UPS to revoke the terminations and settle the dispute with Teamsters Local 804.
U.S. Congressional Reps and State Senators and Assembly Members have issued support statements and contacted UPS management.
Elected officials point out that UPS does over $40 million in business annually with the City of New York and New York State and gets a $15 million break every year from the City in reduced fines on traffic tickets.
City Council leaders say they will call on UPS management to appear at an upcoming hearing and elected officials have called a Press Conference to press the case on the steps of City Hall.Issues: UPS
The Teamsters Union's top leaders are mulling a plan to impose a UPS Inc. small-package contract on recalcitrant union locals by stripping its members of the right to vote on supplements and riders to the UPS master contract, a Teamster dissident group said yesterday.
Teamsters For A Democratic Union (TDU) said in a communiqué that General President James P. Hoffa and Executive Secretary-Treasurer Ken Hall, the union's number two official, are "considering a secret plan" to effectively force the master contract on several locals that have already rejected supplements to the main compact. Although a five-year contract was ratified last June, it cannot take effect until all locals ratify their respective riders and supplements.
A Teamster spokeswoman declined comment. Atlanta-based UPS officials were unavailable to comment.
The union won the right in its 1991 contract with UPS to vote on all supplements and riders. Prior to that, the master contract and all supplements and riders were voted on at one time nationwide.
During the most recent negotiations, the rank-and-file rejected 18 supplements and riders, the largest number rejected in any contract negotiated by the Teamsters in its 111-year existence. Since mid-2013, most of the supplements and riders have been ratified, the latest being in Ohio.
The leadership's purported effort is aimed primarily at locals in Louisville, Ky.; Philadelphia; and western Pennsylvania. In all three regions, locals have rejected their respective supplements. Louisville and Philadelphia are home to UPS air hubs.
Tensions are running especially high in Louisville, where Local 89 represents 9,300 air and ground workers, the largest UPS local in its system. The rank and file there rejected the master contract and its supplement by overwhelming margins. Throughout the process, officials of the local have been at odds with the international leadership in Washington, D.C., and they have been vocal in expressing their displeasure.
Earlier this month, UPS made what union officials called its "last, best, and final offer" to the local. The local responded by filing a charge with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against UPS for unfair labor practices and "regressive" bargaining. The local said UPS, in its latest offer, reneged on provisions both sides had already agreed upon.
Besides the locals in Kentucky and Pennsylvania, contracts covering 15,000 UPS Teamsters at two locals in Chicago and northern Indiana remain open. These contracts are separate from the national agreement, TDU said.Issues: UPS
March 26, 2014: 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.Issues: UPS
March 25, 2014: YRCW’s annual meeting on April 29 is open to anyone who owns any common stock. And Teamsters own stock. Want to question CEO James Welch, in front of the media?
Do you want to ask why he got a big bonus after the concession vote passed? Why they paid Harry Wilson $12.5 million over a year’s time?
Any votes are meaningless, because management holds the proxies of the big institutional investors. But, the media will be there, and would be interested in what YRCW Teamster employees are asking, and how Welch answers.
April 29, 10 a.m. YRCW Headquarters, in Overland Park.Issues: Freight
From the Boston IWW
On Sunday, March 9, just six days after a settlement between Insomnia Cookies and four workers who went on strike last August, the company suspended bicycle delivery “driver” and union organizer Tasia Edmonds. Quick action by the Industrial Workers of the World, which represents Edmonds, the four strikers, and several other area workers, forced the company to reinstate Edmonds. Two dozen IWW members and allies picketed the Boston Insomnia Cookies location, where Edmonds is employed, on Friday, March 14. Organizers planned another rally for Saturday, March 22, after student allies from the abutting Boston University return from Spring Break, but the company capitulated, agreeing on March 20 to bring Edmonds back to work.