UPS rank and filers criticize Hoffa's contract
August 2, 2002 | Page 11
TEAMSTERS PRESIDENT Jim Hoffa declared that "Teamster members have achieved the best contract in our union's history at UPS" when he settled three weeks early. But many rank-and-file members among the 210,000 Teamsters at UPS don't see it that way. After finally getting details on the contract from the union, many are talking about the huge giveaways that Hoffa and Co. have handed to Big Brown.
With the two-year freeze on full-time job creation for part-timers, the contract allows UPS to reverse much of the major gains won during the 1997 strike. And the pay increases--from the meager 50 cent increase in part-time starting pay to the inadequate cost-of-living formula--won't close the wage gap between drivers and full-timers in the "combination jobs" created from two part-time positions.
For full-time package-car drivers, the language restricting mandatory overtime is weak. And for their part, full-time, over-the-road "feeder" truck drivers, whose jobs are threatened by outsourcing, will get little or no protection under this contract--and the six-year deal would give UPS plenty of time to outsource even more.
Meanwhile, Teamsters officials at the regional and local level have given other big concessions--including a freeze in the big Central States pension plan.
Separate contracts for Local 705 and 710 are expected to follow much of the national contract.
That's why UPS Teamsters should vote this deal down--and send negotiators back to the table. It's time the union really carried a fight for the deal that UPS workers deserve.
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HERE'S WHAT UPS Teamsters are saying about Hoffa's deal with UPS:
Part-time loader, Atlanta
Feeder driver, Chicago
Car washer, Chicago
Air driver/sorter combination worker, Chicago
Package driver, Manhattan
Feeder driver, Long Island
Package driver, Long Island
Air walker, Manhattan
They say part-timers get a $6 raise. But actually, the start pay goes up only 50 cents for six years, and that's the only wage most part-timers will ever see. So in 2008, part-timers would be making $8.50-$9.00 for breaking their backs every day.
How will we ever convince Fed Ex workers to join the union when the majority of UPS Teamsters--part-timers--are working for slave wages?