What Happens Now?

Teamsters, UPS Agree To Extend Current UPS National Contract

The Teamsters Union and UPS have agreed to an extension of the current UPS National Master Agreement and all Supplements, Riders and Addenda. The extension does not have a specific end date, but can be terminated by either side with a 30-day notice.

This means that all of the current Agreements will remain in place until the Supplements that did not receive a majority of votes have been re-voted and agreed to. Any increases in wages, pensions and health and welfare contributions that were agreed to in the new National Master Agreement will be made retroactively to August 1, 2013 but will not take effect until the Supplements have been re-voted and agreed to.

In addition, UPS has agreed not to implement the increase in retiree contributions to retiree health insurance on August 1, 2013 as set forth in letters that were sent out to Retirees in December of 2012.

First Word on Ballot Counting

UPS Contract: Back to the Bargaining Table

The UPS national contract will narrowly pass when the vote count is completed. But Ken Hall and UPS will be returning to the bargaining table because 15 supplements and riders have been rejected—the biggest number in Teamster history.

The master contract passed because of the large Yes majorities in the Southern Region, the Atlantic Supplement and New England. In those three areas Yes votes had an 11,941 vote majority. In the rest of the country, No votes will end up with a strong majority, rejecting the contract by about 7,000 votes.

In the three “Yes
areas, no full-time Teamsters are affected by the health benefit cuts, and that is the biggest factor in the vote.

What Happens Now?

The national contract cannot be signed at this point, because each rejected supplement and rider needs to be renegotiated and re-voted. Legally, the contract is one integrated agreement, not separate national and regional contracts.

The International Union needs to do more than re-vote the contracts with a new sales pitch. Supplemental issues need to be addressed. So does a major issue which led to many supplemental rejections. The members have said loud and clear: reverse the health benefit cuts!

Hall and UPS can make that happen. Even if members are moved to the Central States Fund, the IBT and UPS can bargain more healthcare money in the national contract to guarantee no reduction in members’ current benefits.

Renegotiating to reverse the healthcare cuts is achievable.

Reversing the healthcare cuts will not address all of the problems that caused many supplements to be rejected, but it will be an important start.

Let’s Team Up To Win a Better Contract

UPS Teamsters rejected a record number of supplements and riders in the contract vote—and have sent Ken Hall and UPS back to the bargaining table. To reverse the healthcare cuts and win contract improvements will take more membership involvement and national coordination.

TDU and the Make UPS Deliver network will be providing information, producing bulletins and taking nationally coordinated action to demand that the International Union and UPS reverse the healthcare cuts and improve the contract.

Contact TDU to find out how you can get involved. Teamster members are stronger when we work together.

Click here for a more detailed report on the voting results and a local-by-local chart of the results.

Ballot Count Results from the IBT 

Teamsters Reject New Contract With UPS Freight

Teamster union member employees of the freight operation UPS Freight have overwhelmingly rejected a new contract.

The vote of 4,244 to 1,897 follows negotiators from both the union and the company ironing out a tentative five-year deal in April. The decision sends both sides back to the negotiating table.

The current pact expires on July 31.

The vote is separate from the one covering workers at UPS’ parcel operation. Votes for it are still being counted. However, so far it appears to be headed for approval, though some supplemental agreements have been or are heading toward being rejected.

The contact that was voted down is only the second for workers at UPS Freight. The first was ratified in 2008, when workers voted to join the Teamsters after UPS purchased what used to be Overnite Transportation in 2005.

Neither side has commented on the results. However, the Teamsters dissident group, Teamsters for a Democratic Union, describes the vote at UPS Freight as “an important step by standing together in solidarity.”

It said the contract had “a two-tier deal to create ‘Line Haul’ drivers at essential nonunion wages” and described improvements in wage and pension benefits as “inadequate.”

The new contact for UPS Freight offered a $2.50 per hour wage hike over five years, while those at the UPS parcel operations are voting on a $3.90 per hour wage increase over the same time period.


Back when the job was still fun……1995

People at Nike got a bit suspicious when professional runner Lynn Jennings started ordering new sneakers every week, always asking that they be sent UPS.

As it turns out, it wasn’t the shoes she really wanted. It was Dave Hill, her UPS man.

“He looked like Kevin Costner in brown,” she sighs, recalling their long talks on the doorstep.

Four years – and hundreds of packages – later, Dave and Lynn are husband and wife.

“I’m the woman who finally ran away with the UPS man,” she says.

Not that others haven’t tried. UPS men – the humble couriers in tight brown polyester uniforms driving clunky package trucks – have become sex objects of the service world.

Brown-collar fantasies have spilled over into books, plays, television shows and rock songs. In the new movie “Boys on the Side,” Drew Barrymore’s character remarks on the sex appeal of men in uniforms – “especially UPS uniforms.” A tune called “Drive by Love,” performed by the Bobs, a California pop group, describes a romance between a UPS driver and Fotomat clerk and has this refrain: “I can’t get that driver out of my head. He honks his horn and my face turns red.”

UPS, officially known as United Parcel Service of America Inc., gets frequent requests at its Atlanta headquarters to license deliveryman calendars, including one that was to be called “The Buns of UPS.” The company turns them down but doesn’t mind that people find its deliverymen cute. (About 93 percent of its deliverers are men.)

UPS has used sex appeal in its advertising: One of its TV commercials has several businesswomen rhapsodizing about Bob, their UPS man. “Tall, dark and handsome,” says one. “He’s got brown eyes,” whispers a second. A third admits: “I think I have a crush on him.”

Even the company’s phone number is provocative: 1-800-PICK-UPS.

So what’s the attraction? UPS men do have to be in sort of good shape to deliver more than 200 packages a day. And they are unattainable, always on the run. For a few women, the allure is more basic: “He’s the only man I see here every day,” says Michelle Ryals, a shipping manager at Santa Fe Jewelers in Santa Fe, N.M.

Competitors ask what UPS has that they don’t have. Federal Express Corp. insists its drivers are much more stylish than the men of UPS. “Sure, I guess those guys are attractive if you like big sweaty guys in brown shirts,” says a Federal Express spokesman, but Federal Express drivers look far more “presentable in pressed white and navy.”

Female Federal Express couriers have been objects of sexual interest, too. Patti Anderson, a Federal Express courier in New Jersey, says she has received flowers on the windshield of her delivery truck and has been propositioned by dock workers, none of which particularly bothers her.

Ms. Anderson herself admits to wanting to run off with the UPS man on her former route. And such fantasies are widespread. Just ask Sumita Sinha, a Washington attorney. She recalls that as a teenager working at her mother’s store in Morgantown, W.Va., she and a friend

would wait every morning at 11 for the UPS man – a tan, blond, muscular hunk.

“We scheduled our whole morning around it,” she says. “He looked so cool in the uniform, and he always rolled his sleeves up so his muscles would show. He talked a little bit, but never too long.”

Karen Canavan, a 29-year-old marketing executive in Atlanta, first observed the UPS effect as a student at Georgia Southern University, where the campus UPS man was the talk of her friends.

“We would all just stop and watch him jump in and out of his truck,” she says. More recently, Ms. Canavan says, she has taken a liking to a UPS man who works out at her gym.

Rose Davadino, an office manager at Bragman Nyman Cafarelli, a Beverly Hills, Calif., public-relations agency, says she and a man in her office rush to the front desk in the morning to catch a glimpse of their UPS man, Frank. Similarly, Philip Brenton, a buyer at IF, a Manhattan boutique, says he and his saleswomen have developed a special bond with their UPS man, Rene. “We love to talk dirty to him,” he says.

The highly charged atmosphere makes some drivers uncomfortable.

Scott Serpa, a 14-year veteran driver in Seattle, says he once had to change routes after a woman started coming on too strong. “I kept telling her I’m married.”

George Kieffer, a driver in Denver, says he is all for spending time with customers – but there is a limit. “It can be a pain in the neck,” he says. “They’re customers, so you can’t really be rude.

“But it’s like we’re a listening post. Women go on about their hair, and problems with their boyfriend, and their bodies.”

Still, many drivers say they do like to play along, so long as they can make their delivery quotas.

That sense of purpose, that devotion to duty, may be one more thing that makes these men sexy.

“Here’s a man I can count on – even if I can’t count on any other men in my life. He meets my needs and then he’s gone,” says Nan DeMars, a consultant to executive secretaries in Minneapolis.

“He’s a made-to-order fantasy.”

Because UPS men are so reliable, Deanna McKay, an insurance adjuster in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., became quite attached to hers, a tall fellow (6-foot-5) named Jamie Connell. She would call UPS to ask about him whenever he failed to show up. Now, she calls him at home. “The replacement guys are nice, but they’re not Jamie,” says Ms. McKay, who has an enlarged photograph of him on her office wall.

He is flattered by the attention.

Sharyn Wolf, a New York psychotherapist and author of the book “Guerrilla Dating Tactics,” has some special insight into the phenomenon: She grew particularly fond of her previous UPS man, Tony, and has started warming to the new guy, John. Her mother is also a professed UPS lover, recently describing a “spiritual connection” to her deliveryman in Florida.

“Maybe it’s genetic,” jokes Ms. Wolf, the therapist. “But there’s that moment, when he’s handing you the package, and you’re both holding it. . . . It’s very meaningful.”

Especially for home-shoppers. In a recent episode of the CBS sitcom “Dave’s World,” a mother and daughter both were having affairs with their UPS drivers. “You know what a big catalog shopper I am,” said the mother, played by Florence Henderson.

Whatever the animal magnetism a UPS man might possess, the uniform seems to be a big part of the appeal. Jeff Sonnenfeld, a professor at Emory University and consultant to UPS who drove for the company as part of his research, dons his UPS browns a couple of times a semester to make points about corporate image-making. He says students invariably then flock to him after class and in the hallways to compliment the outfit.

“Some of them ask me to wear it the rest of the year,” he says.

“Believe me, I’ve thought about it.”

(Reprinted with permission of The Wall Street Journal. Copyright 1995, Dow Jones & Co. Inc. All rights reserved.)

The Astronomical Math Behind UPS’ New Tool to Deliver Packages Faster


Photo: UPS

In a sense, all business boils down to math. But some companies have tougher equations to solve than others.

At UPS, the average driver makes about 120 deliveries per day, says Jack Levis, the shipping giant’s director of process management. To figure out how many different possible routes that driver could travel, just start multiplying: 120 * 119 * 118 * . . . * 3 * 2 * 1. The end result, Levis likes to say, far exceeds the age of the Earth in nanoseconds.

If that number sounds big, imagine having to make those calculations for 55,000 drivers every day. Until recently, UPS used a software tool that gave drivers a general route to follow but allowed wide latitude for human judgement along the way. Over the next five years, however, the company will roll out widely a more exacting algorithm designed to steer drivers away from well-worn paths toward often counterintuitive routes calculated to make delivery faster.

Called ORION, or On-Road Integrated Optimization and Navigation, UPS’ data-drenched route optimization tool aims to deliver the best answer yet to the traveling salesman problem, the classic computational conundrum that shows just how hard it is to find the shortest distance among a series of points on a map. The size of the numbers involved means simple arithmetic is out. Instead, ORION depends on heuristics, the field of math and computer science devoted to finding answers that are good enough, and that get better based on past experience.

Of course, finding the shortest distance is only one of many variables in play for UPS. Promised delivery times, different types of customers and the types of packages being delivered and picked up are just a few of the additional factors ORION must take into consideration. And Levis is quick to emphasize that UPS doesn’t discount the value of driver wisdom accumulated during years on a route. The best system, he says, is one that relies on both human and algorithmic intelligence, not just one or the other.

Still, computers simply have far more raw calculation power than humans. That capacity combined with the massive amount of data needed to feed that brainpower are what Levis hopes add up to superhuman intelligence: “How do we come up with ways that are better than what humans would have come up with on their own?”

Here’s a few more numbers that play into the math behind UPS’ quest for efficiency:

$30 million—The cost to UPS per year if each driver drives just one more mile each day than necessary. By that same logic, the company saves $30 million if each driver finds a way to drive one mile less.

15 trillion trillion—The number of possible routes a driver with just 25 packages to deliver can choose from. As illustrated by the classic traveling salesman problem, the mathematical phenomenon that makes figuring out the best delivery routes so difficult is called a combinatorial explosion.

55,000—The number of “package cars” (the brown trucks) in UPS’ U.S. fleet. If the figures involved in determining the most efficient route for one driver are astronomical in scale, imagine how those numbers look for the entire fleet.

85 million—The number of miles Levis says UPS’ analytics tools are saving UPS drivers per year.

16 million—The number of deliveries UPS makes daily.

30—The maximum number of inches UPS specifies a driver should have to move to select thethe next package. This is accomplished through a meticulous system for loading packages into the truck in the order in which they’ll be delivered.

200 million—The number of addresses mapped by UPS drivers on the ground.

74—The number of pages in the manual for UPS drivers detailing the best practices for maximizing delivery efficiency.

100 million—The reduction in the number of minutes UPS trucks spend idling thanks in part, the company says, to onboard sensors that helped figure out when in the delivery process to turn the truck on and off.

200—The number of data points monitored on each delivery truck to anticipate maintenance issues and determine the most efficient ways to operate the vehicles.

Marcus Wohlsen  for Wired Business

It should be a crime

Conservative Republicans in our nation’s capital have managed to accomplish something they only dreamed of when Tea Partiers streamed into Congress at the start of 2011: They’ve basically shut Congress down. Their refusal to compromise is working just as they hoped: No jobs agenda. No budget. No grand bargain on the deficit. No background checks on guns. Nothing on climate change. No tax reform. No hike in the minimum wage. Nothing so far on immigration reform. It’s as if an entire branch of the federal government — the branch that’s supposed to deal directly with the nation’s problems, not just execute the law or interpret the law but make the law — has gone out of business, leaving behind only a so-called “sequester” that’s cutting deeper and deeper into education, infrastructure, programs for the nation’s poor, and national defense.
Robert Reich: The Quiet Closing of Washington

Feds digging in Mich. field for Jimmy Hoffa’s remains

James R. Hoffa, then Vice-President of the Teamsters Union, testifies on August 20, 1957 in Washington, D.C. before the Senate Rackets Committee.

James R. Hoffa, then Vice-President of the Teamsters Union, testifies on August 20, 1957 in Washington, D.C. before the Senate Rackets Committee. / AL MUTO/AFP/Getty Images

Federal agents will begin digging up a field in Northern Oakland Township, Mich. on Monday in hopes of finding the remains of Jimmy Hoffa, CBS Detroit reports.

The feds will begin digging on a property in northern Oakland County. The dig — the latest in what’s been nearly a 40-year search — is the result of extensive FBI interviews with a former mobster. Mafia underboss Tony Zerilli told WDIV-TV in an exclusive interview earlier this year that Hoffa was buried in a shallow grave on the property which is believed to be owned by a family with mob ties.

Zerilli, who was second in command with the Detroit mafia, said he was told by a mafia enforcer that Hoffa was abducted at a restaurant in Bloomfield Township and brought to Buhl Road In Oakland Township and buried. The original plan, according to the mobster, was to bury him there temporarily and then take his body up to northern Michigan and bury him at a hunting lodge.

Zerilli, now 85, was convicted of organized crime as a reputed mafia captain. He was in prison on July, 30 1975 — when Hoffa disappeared from a Bloomfield Township restaurant — but says he was informed about Hoffa’s whereabouts after his release.

All these years later, why continue to search for Hoffa’s body?

WWJ Newsradio 950 spoke live Monday morning with local mob expert and author Scott Bernstein who said he doesn’t believe there is a body to be found, but, “… I think that the crime itself has taken on an unbelievable amount of legs to … keep the story in the headlines for 35 years-plus,” he said.

“It’s a giant black eye for the FBI. It’s a piece of local folklore that will always … beg the attention that it gets,” Bernstein said. “And I think in that regard, you know, it speaks for itself.”

Bernstein believes Hoffa’s body was disposed of in an incinerator.

“That said, you have to follow this lead because it’s probably the most credible lead that the FBI’s ever gotten … on this case,” said Bernstein, due to the fact that Zerilli, the son of Detroit mafia founder Joe Zerilli, is the most credible person ever to have come forward with information.

Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, a prosecutor at the time of Hoffa’s disappearance, says he doesn’t think anything will come of this dig. “I’ve been through this so many times. We’ve been down this trail, this dead-end street — I can almost think of a dozen separate times,” Patterson said.

“We sent out the backhoes and tore up property, tore down barns or what have you, and … I don’t care how good the tip is in this instance. I am really pretty much a pessimist on this one,” Patterson said.

Zerilli has been promoting a book, “Hoffa Found.” A website says the book will reveal details about Hoffa’s death.

Hoffa was president of the Teamsters union until 1971.

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