Deal falls short on wages, full-time jobs and more
By Donny Schraffenberger, member, Teamsters Local 705 | August 9, 2002 | Page 11
THE MEDIA have praised the United Parcel Service (UPS) proposed contract with the Teamsters as a "win-win" deal for management and union members. On the surface, this deal doesn't seem to have the outright concessions seen in other recent contracts. But a closer look shows why this deal is bad for Teamsters--and should be voted down.
UPS has had five years of record profits. The company is like an ever-expanding pie, and keeping the status quo means that workers would get a relatively smaller piece over the course of the six-year deal. For example, while this contract would add 10,000 new full-time jobs, the percentage of part-time employees would still increase from the current 57 percent. And no full-time jobs would be created until the third year of the contract.
It's worth remembering that it took more than two years and national arbitration to force UPS to honor the 10,000 full-time jobs won through our 1997 strike. Even then, the jobs that UPS created paid less than other full-time work, such as package car and over-the-road "feeder" driving.
Similarly, in the tentative agreement reached by Chicago's Local 705--which has a separate contact, most of it modeled on the national deal--a minimum of 450 new full-time jobs would be created, starting the second year of a six-year deal. Last time, Local 705 won 600 new full-time jobs over five years. We shouldn't be going backwards. Some 7,000 part-timers work at Chicago's CACH facility alone.
Another major problem with the national contract is that Article 40, which deals with the highly profitable next-day air operations, remains almost the same. Top-scale combination full-time air drivers would continue to make at least $6 less an hour than package car drivers. Part-time air walkers would still start at $8.50 an hour in 2008, while a package car driver would make over $28 an hour. Not the best deal
The majority of Teamster members at UPS make less than $11 an hour today. But if the contract is approved, base start pay would remain $8.50 an hour and only go up 50 cents after 90 days.
Top-scale package car drivers would make more than three times the hourly wage of a newly hired unloader in 2008. And the jobs of feeder drivers would continue to be subcontracted to nonunion trucking companies and railroads.
How can Teamsters President James Hoffa call this the "best UPS contract ever?" The massive gap between top-scale full-timers and part-timers can only help management to divide us, and six years is far too long to wait for a new contract.
All UPS Teamsters should demand a contract meeting and organize members to vote no. We need to force the negotiating committee to get us a contract with more pay for part-timers--at least $12 an hour base pay--and more full-time jobs immediately. We deserve nothing less.