All posts by George

Keeping Management Off Your Back

I got another email today from someone asking me how to keep management off their back. This is an age old problem at UPS.

Management is like the bully in the school yard. How do you keep from drawing his attention? The answer is simple. Do what he wants. Then he looks at someone else to harass.

Look at this video. This guy is makng his numbers, he’s going to look good  on paper and he thinks he’s doing what management wants since management is all about numbers. But if management can identify the driver in this video, they’ll fire him. Is he doing what management wants? Will the bully harass this guy?



Sometimes it’s hard to find the balance between using the methods and making your numbers. Most drivers believe that hitting the numbers will keep them out of the spotlight and the methods don’t matter as long as you stay out of the spotligtht. NOT. The methods are everything. The numbers are not your problem, no matter how much management tries to make you think they are your problem.

Hitting the numbers and not using the methods will get you fired. Using the methods and not hitting the nmbers will not get you fired. How tough is it to figure out which is the right path for you?

Email OBAMA

This is simple. Obama has set it up to make it easy to contact him. Will he respond? Email him and find out. Click on the attached link and find out. This guy says he’s going to keep an open door. I want to believe him. Let’s find out. Click on the link and send him a message. He will never be able to say we didn’t tell him.

“Hello, this is Barack”

Is the UPS/IBT Full Time Pension worth the price?

    When UPS set up the UPS/IBT Full Time Pension Plan for employees covered by the Central States Plan (CS), it covered active employees only. You have to work at least one day after Jan 1. 2008 to go with UPS out of CS and into the new UPS/IBT Plan. People who retired before Jan 1, 2008, or for any reason were not able to work one day after that date remain in the Central States Plan.


    For those who went into the new plan, UPS will pay their pension until they reach the age of 65, then most of it (about 90%) will fall back on Central States. At that point, retirees will get 2 checks one from UPS and one from CS. If Central States is not in good shape and cannot meet their obligations to these retirees, then UPS will make up the difference to guarantee your full pension amount for the rest of your life. UPS is assuming this obligation until age 65 to remove retirees from the CS re-employment restrictions, which are quite severe. Those restrictions are removed at CS at age 65. It was one of the selling points to get UPSers to accept the UPS pension plan.

    Those who remained in the CS Plan and did not go to the UPS/IBT Plan are at the mercy of Central States and their full pension amount is not guaranteed. Under the Pension Reform Act of 2006, Central States will never be allowed to fold up and let their obligations fall on the Govt Pension Guar. Corp. Central States will always have to remain in existence and pay AHHHH...Retirementpensions at whatever level they can afford.  It could be the full amounts or any percentage thereof. 
    So for  retirees who voted for the new Pension Plan and will retire under the new Plan, it’s a pretty good deal. It guarantees a full pension for life. But what about oour brothers and sisters who retired prior to Jan. 1, 2008? They stay with CS and have no guarantees. 
    Should we have stayed with Central States and rejected the UPS offer?

    The problem with staying in Central States as opposed to going with the new UPS/IBT Pension Plan is that if we stayed in CS and CS went down, we would go down with it. I have always felt that I will outlive CS. That means I feel that by the time I reach 65 or 70 or 75, CS will no longer be paying full pensions. The new UPS/IBT Pension guarantees my full amount for life. That  is a better deal for me as I go into my golden years.

    Central States unfortunately does not have a good track record for being healthy. They have already reduced the amounts members accrue towards their pension. They do continue at this time to pay out full pension amounts, but not at the amounts the did prior to 2003. In 2003, they reduced the accrual amounts to about 85 cents on the dollar, with a 6% per year early retirement penalty. So if you retired at 57 with 30 years today, instead of $3000 a month, you would recieve about $2650. You would get the $100 for each year of service up to 2003 (24 years) but only about $85 a month for the last 6 which accrued after 2003 and that amount would be reduce by 6% for each year you were under 62 or 36% of the $85. So people accruing a significant amount of their pension after 2003 would get a lot less than the expected $3000 at 30 and out, especially if they were under the age of 62.

    The cost of insurance from CS, which UPS matched both coverage and cost to retirees, was upped in 2003 from $50 to $255 a person and set to increase $50 each year until you reach Medicare age. So for you and the wife, it would be 510/month the first year, then $610 next year and so on. If you retired at 57, by the time you reached Medicare age it would be $1400 a month. Under the UPS/IBT Pension, the same insurance is $200/person guaranteed not to increase for the life of the contract.

    Even more scary, last year CS sent a letter out to all participants (which officially we still are) saying that despite the infusion of cash from the UPS buyout, they were slipping into the dreaded Red Zone and would be forced to make cutbacks again because of the requirements of the 2006 Pension Reform Act which say they must stay viable and cannot fold. One area that they were looking at for cutbacks was eliminating the ‘and out’ language, meaning you could retire at 57 but could not pull a penny of your pension until you reached retirement age of 65. For anyone looking to get out of UPS before the age of 65, that would mean finding alternate employment until you reach retirement age and could begin receiving your pension. That would be totally unacceptable.

    Central States once had 115 companies paying in to the fund, they are now down to less than 20. UPS felt that under the new 2006 Pension laws that say active companies in any underfunded plan must pony up more money, they were going to be left holding the bag for Central States. All the retirees from all the folded companies still get their pensions and the 20 companies still standing have to fund those pensions plus their own. So UPS wanted out. And as you can surely see, the guanantees and the insurance costs to retirees were a good deal for UPS employees voting in December of 2007. It not only restored the full pension amounts ($100 per year for 57 and older) but also guaranteed a defined benefit amount for life. And the insurance was cheaper.
     Did UPSers sell out their own UPS brothers and sisters who retired prior to 2008? There was surely no reason to hang with the ailing Central States other than Brotherhood. 
    Granted, Brotherhood is a noble cause. It’s the very foundation of unionism.
    But at what price??

Here Comes the War

Well it’s no surprise, but here comes the war. With the falling volume, cars are being split out, areas are being expanded, and of course up go the hours. I heard the statement for the first time, “you should consider yourself lucky to be working in this economy!” The center manager blew a gasket when the driver complained about hours. He threatened the driver with having to sit with the division manager and explain himself if he filed a nine five grievance. Of course there were five more drivers complaining after this one, and of course the grievances will be filed because everyone is being dispatched with 10 to 11 hour days. The sh-t will really hit the fan when they in turn lay off the low senior drivers, and stop giving any days off. The interesting part will be to see how the Union reacts. Where they’ve been able to make the company pay double time in the past, the current economic times will allow the company to whine much louder, and I suspicion the over dispatching will go on without relief. Time will tell.

I forgot to include that 8 hour requests are also going to be under attack. They want to go back to the old days where you worked all day and half the night and liked it. Now your seeing the push by Bush to create dog like slave labor in this country. UPS is definetly on that page. We’ll find out if the Union is.

Using Our Tax Money Against Us

Are you getting this?Think we’re not in for a fight over the Employee Free Choice Act? Here’s a sound bite of Corporate CEO’s planning to use bailout monies against the battle to win the EFCA. Note that several of these institutions have taken bailout money.  Also note that one of these CEO’s is your favorite and mine Home Depot. Be prepared. They are using our money to fight us. They have billions, we have nickel’s. Shop at Lowe’s! Also note that Home Depot had a major layoff this week. They’re using your money against you, to steal your rights, and steal your freedoms.      

Don’t Believe It? Hear it here!

Thank you to Sam Stein of the Huffington Post for putting this information out there.

Have You Figured it Out?

Time for ActionWell by now many of you are starting to figure it out. You have been Frank Lorenzo’ed. Remember way back when Frank Lorenzo would buy up Airlines then sell off all of their assets, gut their infrastructure, steal all of the pension money’s then toss the trash out on the street for some one else to clean up. Remember Eastern Airlines and Continental Airlines? That’s what is happening to America. The right wing has been taking you all for fools, and now their taking you for everything you have. Many of you have rolled over with your butt in the air saying give me more Rush. How long have we harped on these pages about those people. Well it’s coming home. They are stealing every ounce of your net worth, all the while saying it’s your imagination, that it’s really Obama’s fault. Many of you continue to believe it. Many German’s believed Hitler much the same way, and we know how that went. Look at that outcome. How bad do you think the economy is going to get? Multiply it by two and you might be close. The goal from the beginning is to gut the country and it’s people of their assets and give them to the super wealthy. These people like to steal from you then convince you they are Christians to boot. Man what a crock. If you think your freedoms as an individual are not far behind you’re bending over with your ass in the air. I still marvel at how foolish many of you can be. All this is happening without a kiss. It’s happening to you. We will never have our parents retirement.
Yahoo Frank Lorenzo for more information or go to Grounded: Frank Lorenzo and the Destruction of Eastern Airlines

When Can You Retire?

Have you been wondering when you are going to be able to retire? Does what’s happening with your pension scare the heck out of you? Well here is a little video that explains what is happening with your pension and why. And I mean your UPS pension, not somebody else’s pension. Your pension is not secure. This video shows  you why. I hope this video makes you mad. I hope it makes you get off your ass and do something. Call your Congressman, write your Senator, pay off your house. I don’t care what you do, just for God’s sakes, do something. Become an online activist. The middle class is going down the toilet and you’re going with it.

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I feel good….I knew that I would

I feel good that the Employee Free Choice  Act is going to come up this year for a vote in the US Senate. If you aren’t sure why America needs the Free Choice Act, read this great article. The Free Choice Act, which is often referred to as Card Check, will level the playing field for union organizing.
I am so sick and tired of union bashers going around and boasting that union ranks are shrinking because unions are dinosaurs who have out lived their usefullness. American workers and the middle class today need unions more than at any time in the last 50 years. Our jobs are disappearing, corporations treat us like waste and the American Dream is all but out of reach for most Americans.
We had it pretty good after the unions came to power in the 1930s and 1940s. Workers were a valued commodity and they shared in the bounty of their hard work. But we took too much for granted and slowly but surely, the corporations stole our wealth and our pride away from us. Now the game is one-sided.
Current labor laws have made it hard if not impossible to recruit new members.  By allowing companies to harass and threaten  interested workers during organizing campaigns, union membership has declined. And as union ranks began to shrink, so did the money. And since money is power, the balance of power shifted from the organized labor to the corporations. Many politicians claimed that the balance would work itself out. But we know what the result is when corporations call all the shots.





 Manufacturing is at a 28-year low and even Obama’s economists say unemployment could top 10 percent before the recession ends. One in 10 homeowners is at risk of foreclosure and the dollar continues its slide in value.  The Denver Post 

The time has come to rise up again. The Employee Free Choice Act will level the playing field when it comes to organizing. Unions will grow because American workers want to restore the power their fathers and forefathers knew. They want to share in the fruits of their labor. They want another shot at the American Dream. 
I feel good because I know that unions will grow with Card Check. I’m tired of hearing people talk bad about unions because I believe that collective bargaining is the only way to  wrestle good pay and benefits away from greedy corporations.
America needs to get back on its feet and I believe it will with the passage of the Employee Free Choice Act. I believe the middle class will rise again. That makes me feel good…. I knew that it would.

Here are a couple of good links. The first two explain why the country will benefit from the passage of the Employee Free Choice Act. Read through these websites so you can be articulate on the benefits of card check. The great debate is coming.
Employee Free Choice Act
American Rights at Work
This other website is anti-union. It’s like the guy in the chainsaw massacre movie telling you how great his chain saw is. Of course he just used it to slash your job, cut up your health care, destroy your pension…but it’s a damn good chainsaw.
Heritage Foundation

Supporting YOUR Union

For thirty some years I have been involved with the Teamsters Union. I’ve watched the internal political fights, and actually have attempted to make some changes from within. It is very daunting, and scary to the average rank and file guy. You can feel very out of control when dealing with the Speak upUnion. Even on a local level they can seem very aloof and detached. (Many times they are). In some ways they are absorbed with their own self interest much the way the corporatist’s are. The difference is when you (the rank and file member) slap them, they will at least look your way. Every one of you needs to become involved. The union was created to serve the membership, not be a gravy train for the self serving officer. You can help yourself by reading the information put out by the union both in print and on-line. Get information through the Teamsters On-line. Get opposing viewpoints. There are many, the biggest being TDU. It is the membership that ultimately drives this train. It is your apathy that derails it. Don’t depend on some other guy to direct the path of the Union. It may not go the way you want it to. It is the fear of you, (the rank and file), that forces our Union in the direction it needs to go. You pay for it. It is your Right. Let them know.

You can link to many of the informational sites from Denver Brown. Be sure to return here for more information, or better yet subscribe so that you get e-mail reports of updates.