FedEx Drivers Aren’t Pilots

     Ever had a FedEx package delivered to your door by airplane? 
Of course not!
     Check out this video showing the absurdity of the claim by FedEx CEO Fred Smith that FedEx Express is an airline. The video is part of the Teamsters campaign launch in support of leveling the playing field in the package delivery industry.
     For more information, visit 

Is UPS “Too Big To Fail”?

    With all this talk these days about banks being too big to fail and most of us agreeing that that’s probably a bad thing, we have to ask ourselves, “Is UPS too big to fail?”
      Too big to fail at one time meant that a company was so large and so diversified, that if one branch or another went south on them, the whole operation would not go under because the rest of the company could shoulder the losses of one division. That was thought to be a good thing. A secure thing.
      But these days being too big to fail means that if bad management puts a mega-corporation in the ditch, the US Government will pull it out before the crash turns into a multi-car pile up and lots of people get hurt. And a Government bailout means taxpayer money going to save an irresponsible private enterprise. Now “too big to fail” is viewed as a bad thing and the idea is circulating that maybe corporations that large should be broken up. 
      Where does UPS fit into all this? 
Pres Obama dwarfed by a UPS plane       The strike of ’97 gave us a little glimpse into just how big UPS is. Newspapers reported that 8% of the Gross National Product was circulating through our system at any given moment and that’s a lot of product. And when shippers large and small looked around for another way to ship and receive their goods, they found there really was no other good way. The Post Office is just not up to the job and FedEx is too expensive. DHL made a run at getting into the business, but couldn’t stand up to UPS’s omnipresence.
      Now with UPS heavily involved in transporting goods worldwide, who knows how much of the world GNP is in our system. Not only would the US economy crash and burn if UPS folded its tent, but other nations would suffer too. Could the bankruptcy of UPS cause a world wide depression?  That could not be allowed to happen.
      Is UPS so big that it should be broken up like Standard Oil was at the beginning of the last century?
      Whether you think UPS is fine like it is or should be taken apart to facilitate competition in the free market economy, I think we can agree on one thing. It ain’t gonna happen anytime soon. We have the best government in Washington that money can buy and UPS has a lot of money to spend.

What is White Privilege?

Enjoying White Privilege    

       Imagine if Tea Partiers were black, or Arab-American, and showed up in the hundreds or thousands, angry and well-armed, talking revolution. 

      “Protest is only seen as fundamentally American when those who have long had the luxury of seeing themselves as prototypically American engage in it….White privilege is the ability to threaten others, to engage in violent and incendiary rhetoric without consequence, to be viewed as patriotic no matter what you do, and never to be feared as people of color would be if they tried to get away with half the shit we do on a daily basis.”

Common Dreams

Division Managers I Have Known

     Over the years, the personalities I have experienced in every aspect of “The Company” has been educational. As a steward for 30 of those 34 years, I had to deal with a number of “interesting” individuals. Most of the drivers deal daily with the Center Sup. or the Center Manager, but as the steward, (and an active one), we were always “going upstairs” to the Division Manager’s office. Unfortunately, as in most cases, a person remembers the worst of the bunch. I just thought I’d talk about some of the more memorable personalities I’ve seen.
     The very first one that comes to mind is the screaming, yelling, walk up and down the belt with a “mad-on” attitude. While this guy came across somewhat “Coach Like”, he was too indiscriminate about who he chose to take on. He didn’t care anything about the employee he would scream at. It could be the hot dogger, hump and dumper of the year. The guy that just delivered 400 stops. If the driver’s shoes weren’t polished or his shirt wasn’t tucked in, he was all over them.
   I have no respect for you!   As a steward who grew up yelling, this guy was the most fun. It was a blast to bait him into an argument in front of everybody. You could hear the battle echoing throughout the building, usually with no resolution. Just the steward walking away with everyone’s respect for taking him on, and the Division Manager looking like an idiot. Of course his ego let him go on to scream another day.
     The next memorable Division Manager was the “Sneaky, Conniving, Stab in the back, Hide out in the office type”. These are the guys that have “wet dreams” over Telematics. The Division Manager I remember would sit in his office pouring over yesterdays reports looking for time gaps, and indicators on all of the reports, looking for anyone that might be stealing from the company in any manner. He also would sit in his office and think of ways to screw the drivers over lunch breaks, paid breaks, or any other time as his attitude was, every driver was stealing every second from the company. The ironic thing about this guy is that he was a lying, sneaking driver, on his way up. He knew all of the tricks, because he had pulled all of those tricks, as a driver. He used to “Knob” packages with the best of them. He used to go “off area” with the best of them. He used to take “extra lunchbreak” with the best of them.
     As a steward, dealing with this guy was fun also. While he could come up with some interesting twists and turns, reminding him of his past was the best defense for keeping him from terminating someone. Helping him remember the temptations that are out there on the street, was the best defense. He also had a knack for catching the “kiss asses” as they were the ones that usually cheat the system the most. That’s how he got where he was, he just never was caught. He really didn’t take people out, but he would put the fear of the “Lord and Master” in them.
    The next memorable Division Manager was the, “I’m from Montana, and I’m an asshole” type of Division Manager. He came in with the flourish of “I’m going to get every one of you for anything I can get on you”. What the guy didn’t understand was that he had run into some of the most experienced, and awesome stewards at UPS. He had never seen such a tight group of stewards in Montana, where most of the centers were small, and very distant from each other, and pretty much out of touch with the real world. He found that taking on any of the drivers, took a great deal of effort, and time, and cost. The stewards showed him that they could rise to the occasion, and make his life just as miserable as he could make the driver’s.
     Dealing with this guy was really pretty easy. He had never seen what the grievance process could entail when used properly. The stewards used the “pile on the paper”  technique for getting him to leave people alone. The stewards also were ever watchful of this guy’s behavior, and a pattern of racism began to show, with his singling out black drivers for more severe discipline than the white drivers. When that issue was brought to the surface with upper management, the place suddenly got quiet. All due to the diligent work of the stewards. 
     Of course I would be remiss in not mentioning the decent, hard working Division Mangers that took care of people, and gave those driver’s the chance to straighten up their act before taking them out. The manager that cared about people in general, and was all about everyone’s success, including the employee’s, and the company’s. Of course most of those guys were usually soon out the door in this day of “cutthroat management”, and the “race to the bottom line”.
     Talking about these guys, and the many more personalities, is more about showing the “behind closed doors” work the stewards do for the rank and file driver. They get to know the inner workings of these Division Manager’s heads, and they adjust how they deal with them in the many cases that “go upstairs”. A quality steward is not just about knowing the contract, and past practice, it’s also all about dealing with personalities, and negotiating on the behalf of the rank and file with the Division Manager. It takes toughness, it takes fairness, it takes a desire for the success of the company, as well as the success of the workers. One goes with the other, and many of the managers get too close to the success of the company, they forget about the success of their people, which directly affects their own succes. 
                                   It’s up to the steward to remind them!

Working at United Parcel Service — Reviews by Employees

I love my job..I love my job..I love my jobFrom Austin TX — 02/15/2010
    At one time ups used to be a decent place to work. I have been there 13 years and even with a college degree have still not been able to get a promotion. Part of it is because I have refused to suck up (a requirement). One constant is the ridiculously conservative policies. Men can not have beards. There are no casual dress days ever. Women can’t wear open toe or open heel shoes. Very few personal items are allowed on your desk aside from a calendar, a picture (frame required), and stapler or something. No screensavers or wallpaper are allowed. At first, I though maybe it was just my office, but after talking to other employees at other buildings, I found out it was that strict everywhere. For an hourly employee, pay is below average ( $35,000). Things really started to get worse in the last few years. Due to budget “cutbacks”, they have discontinued the 401k matching program. At the same time, it was also announced they our health insurance benefits would focus on a more “shared responsibility” meaning that I pay almost three times what I used and have less things covered. An ongoing prescription for my kid used to cost $5 per refill, now costs $35!

     The most frustrating thing is how we constantly have meetings saying how much profit we have per quarter, per year, etc. (Around 1 billion annually) Then they turn around and tell us benefits are being cut, we’ve laid people off, etc. UPS recently spent around 7 million dollars to lobby congress in hopes of passing a bill that would possibly cause Fedex to unionize. And who knows how much UPS spends for all the NASCAR stuff. They always tell us UPS’s people are it’s most valuable asset. Well how about taking some of that 1 billion profit and instead of paying congressman and the NASCAR spending and give it back to the people who keep the company profitable?

Saving America

     Bob’s formula for saving America.
                           Take Corporate money out of our political system!
                    Take Corporate control of the media out of our “News”!
     Until these two things happen, our Country will never be the power it once was. The people will continue to suffer, and the facsist’s will remain in power.  These principles are what a “people’s uprising” must be about.
                                            Think about it.

We Need to Become Better Liars

I’ve decided that the only way for us to fight the Right Wing Lie Machine is for us to become better liars ourselves.

So here is my first big lie:

Glenn Beck is a bottom feeding mercenary who will say anything to create controversary (ratings) and any UPS Teamster that believes what he says needs to be kicked hard in the brown shorts.

Oh no, wait, that’s not a lie at all.


And if Beck’s fabrications don’t make you laugh out loud, try this yarn from the drug addled brain of Rush Limbaugh.

“After an Icelandic volcano continued to spew ash into the sky Saturday, halting President Obama’s planned flight to Poland, conservative icon Limbaugh said the surprising strength and timing of the eruption suggests a God displeased with the passage of health care reform.”


Stimulus Money Explained




Sometime this year,  we taxpayers will again receive another ‘ Economic
Stimulus’ payment .  
  This is indeed a very exciting program,  and I’ll explain it by
Using a Q & A format:

    Q.  What is an ‘ Economic Stimulus’ payment ?
   A.  It is money that the federal government will send to taxpayers.
    Q..  Where will the government get this money ?
   A.  From taxpayers.
    Q.  So the government is giving me back my own money ?
   A.  Only a smidgen of it.
    Q.  What is the purpose of this payment ?
   A.  The plan is for you to use the money to purchase a
High-definition TV set,  thus stimulating the economy.
   Q.  But isn’t that stimulating the economy of China ?
  A.  Shut up.
    Below is some helpful advice on how to best help the U.S. Economy by
Spending your stimulus check wisely:        
        *  If you spend the stimulus money at Wal-Mart ,  the money will
Go to China or Sri Lanka …  
       *  If you spend it on gasoline,  your money will go to the
       *  If you purchase a computer,  it will go to India , Taiwan or
China .  
       *  If you purchase fruit and vegetables,  it will go to Mexico ,
Honduras and Guatemala ..  
       *  If you buy an efficient  car,  it will go to Japan or Korea .   
 *         If  you purchase useless stuff,  it will go to Taiwan .  
       *  If you pay your credit cards off, or buy stock,  it will go
To management bonuses and they will hide it offshore.  
    Instead,  keep the money in America by:
   1)  Spending it at yard sales ,  or      
   2)  Going to ball games,  or    
   3)  Spending it on prostitutes,  or      
   4)  Beer or      
   5) Tattoos.
   (These are the only American businesses still operating in the U.S. )
  Go to a ball game with a tattooed prostitute that you met at a yard
Sale and drink beer all day !



The Big Brown Career

    Another Day in Paradise OK, so you’ve decided to take that job with “Big Brown”. Better yet you took the job 2 years ago, and now you’re sitting there wondering, “oh hell, what have I done!” Most drivers know about the two year blues. It usually takes a driver about two years to suddenly come to the realization that they are running harder, giving more of their lives, and getting less than the drivers around them. They suddenly start to ask questions, and appear more rebellious to management. They suddenly are in the office, and are quick to express their dissatisfaction with their treatment. They also become more aware of their union, and begin to ask what the union can do about their situation. These are the formative years at UPS. I liken it to becoming a hormonal monster of a teenager. Questioning everything, and placing unreasonable demands on the parent, (the company, aka: abusive daddy), and realizing that being rebellious is a better way of life than just rolling over, and taking it.
     Many drivers make their long term career choice around that time. It’s not uncommon for some drivers to just say, “screw it”. “I’m not putting up with that crap for the rest of my life. Of course when they go home to the new wife, and the new baby, they usually get a scolding about, “where in the hell do you think you are going to get a job with benefits, and make that kind of money, and steady work, and few layoffs, and on, and on, and on”. At that point most drivers have been welcomed into the world of the “golden handcuffs”. The company has them now. They will bleed brown for the next 30 years, and like it, (or not).
    At the same time that most drivers come to these conclusions, they will also begin to look around at the routes available to them. They will begin to search for the kind of route that suits them, such as a long drive extended route, or a high rise downtown route with all of the good looking receptionists to sign for stuff. (Sorry to be so sexist, but I know many a driver where that type of thing is important). Most will settle onto some nice residential route, with less boxes, and a little more driving. It used to be that they could stay out of sight of the company until the advent of Telematics.
    The realities of a career begin to set in. The good things begin to become obvious. With the potential of reaching full seniority, the money begins to look good. They begin to get real used to having healthcare, and it sure is nice to own their own house. They start to enjoy a hobby or two, (of course they never seem to have time to enjoy those hobbies), and with a little push at work, life seems to be falling into place. The route is tolerable, and they get in good enough shape, and learn the ropes to where the job “ain’t so bad”.
     If the driver does not fall into the, “I’m not going to be a truck driver all my life”, mode and make the fatal mistake of going into management, they are on track for a long career at Big Brown. If they look to the Teamsters to help them find the path away from destruction of life, and body, they can have a long career with Big Brown.
     The one place many drivers fail is in their home life. The divorce rate is very high within the company. A driver needs to balance the demands of the home, with the demands of the company. Monday through Friday can be a tough time for a driver. Getting to the kids special times during the week can be tough. Keeping your mates hopes and dreams outside the company satisfied can also be tough. It’s at those times that a driver suddenly becomes aware of the nine-five grievance, and how much work the drivers around them are doing, and what time they are getting off, etc.
     Any drivers that have been around awhile will be chuckling at this point, because we all go through it. It’s a way of life with a “Big Brown Career”. We all go through it in one form or another.
     I can tell you there is light at the end of the tunnel. If you take care of business in the meantime, there is that pension waiting for you at the end. Hopefully if the ex-wives have not decimated you financially, and the company has not stolen your body, you will be able to retire in decent shape, at a decent age.
                  You can then be the driver to look back and remember all of the stages of a-
                                                             “Big Brown Career”