United Parcel Service
By Donny Schraffenberger, steward, Teamsters Local 705 | June 7, 2002 | Page 11
AFTER 93 percent of Teamsters at United Parcel Service (UPS) voted to authorize a strike last month, management has finally started to move on contract negotiations.
A tentative deal has been reached, according to Parcel Director Ken Hall, on a stronger penalty when supervisors do Teamsters work. This is a major problem at UPS, because when supervisors do our work, they're stealing time, money and potential jobs from union members.
A national Day of Action is set at UPS hubs across the country for June 4. The event will kick off a weeklong petition drive that calls for support of the Teamsters National Negotiating Committee. The goal is to sign up every UPS Teamster to show the company we're united for a strong contract.
Although this show of unity is a good step, members need regular meetings to discuss updates in the contract talks, because many of them have serious questions about negotiations and a possible strike. More plant-gate rallies would also help build the solidarity needed to beat UPS. For too long, members have been kept in the dark, and this has only aggravated the rumor mill.
The issues being discussed during negotiations this week in Washington will include excessive and forced overtime. Instead of package car drivers working long hours while part-timers starve trying to get more minutes on the clock, ending forced overtime could help create more full-time jobs.
Also on the table is job security. Recently, UPS has laid off full-timers while it hires more and more nonunion temp agency workers. Teamsters should do these jobs.
Remember--UPS has had five record-breaking profit years since 1997. They have the money to give us what we want, but we have to do "whatever it takes," including a national strike to force them to give into our just demands.