10 Frequently Asked Questions

The following are some of the more frequently asked questions of the stewards with some general recommendations how to deal with the situation. As always consult your steward before taking any action to be sure of your rights.



  1. Can the company discipline me without a steward present, if no steward is available? The answer is a flat no. The company must provide a steward in any discussion with a union member if the possibility of discipline even remotely exists. Even if timeliness is an issue, the company cannot bring discipline without the presence of a steward.
  2. What does automatic protest mean on warning letters? Automatic protest means that the union and the company have agreed to place the warning letter under protest, and unless the issue comes up again, the letter will be withdrawn in 90 days, (unless some other time frame is agreed to). If the same issue comes up again, the union and the company have agreed to hear the warning letter issue before any more severe discipline can be implemented. I have expressed my displeasure with Automatic Protest in the past, but that is the system we live under today.
  3. What is the attendance policy for the company? My assumption is that the policy is consistent throughout the company, but here in the Rocky Mountain area you are allowed three attendance discrepancies in a running thirteen week period before you can be issued any discipline. The company must review each and every discrepancy in a timely manner with the steward present.
  4. Does the company have the right to dictate my appearance? The appearance issue has come up many times over the years. The company has the right to set appearance standards, and you have an obligation to abide by them. The only exceptions are if you are being singled out for a different standard than the other drivers, or the standard is discriminatory.
  5. Is it ever O.K. for Supervisors to do Union Work? Basically the answer is no. The only real situation is when management exhausts all possible hourly means to make service then the Supervisors can do the work. The problem arises when they get lazy and just resort to the Sups. as the first remedy. My recommendation is if you see them work, file, then sort it out later.
  6. Is it true I can be paid Double Time for excessive 9.5 hour days? Being paid Double Time for excessive 9.5 hour days is true, sort of.  You must inform the company of your desire to have your hours reduced, and give them the opportunity to correct the problem. If they don’t, you file under Article 12 Section 1. The first grievance will be resolved as “the company agrees to abide by Article 12 Section 1”. If you continue to be dispatched with excessive OT you will file again, and usually after the grievance goes through the entire process, you may be awarded double time. 
  7. I don’t like something the Union is doing, how do I make a change? Well most of you would first seek out the steward. If the steward does not satisfy you, don’t be afraid to go straight to the Business Agent at your Local union. If you still feel the need to go up the ladder, contact the Principle officer for your Local Union. Usually you will get results somewhere along this line. You still can go straight to the International Union, but that process is an article all of it’s own.
  8. I am being singled out for more severe discipline/harassment than the drivers around me. What do I do? Of course your first line of defense is your steward. Do not let management badger you without your steward present. Be very clear you want representation. That in itself is your most powerful tool, as the company will be much more careful what they say to you with the steward present. When all else fails resort to the grievance procedure.
  9. I have a good reason to be off work, but my manager is telling me no. What do I do? If you have a legitimate reason you need to be gone, and you’ve informed the company, and they are telling you no, then you need to take your lumps under the attendance policy above. If it’s a legitimate reason, (illness, doctor, dentist, family issue) simply call an hour or more before your start time. Of course you must fall within the 3 in a 13 week discrepancy or you may still be subject to discipline. It’s simple. The company needs you at work everyday. Try to be there, but in all of our lives things come up. You need to take care of things outside of the company as well.
  10. My steward is not taking care of my issues. What do I do? My first question to you is “are you simply expecting the steward to know you are having an issue, or have you taken the time to seek them out and let them know of your problem.” The steward can’t possibly know every driver’s problems in a big center. You must seek them out and verbalize your troubles to them. You can always go up the ladder to the business agent, but my bet is that if you simply communicate with the steward you will get results
These are simple answers to some complicated questions. Your union is in place to help you be treated fairly and to see to it that you are provided with a decent, safe, workplace. Educate yourself to your rights, and you will have a good career with the company. *

I Told You So

 

OK, I can’t resist. Any of you that have read my stuff on Denverbrown know that I have been an ad advocate of taking the corporations out of our national politics and making our government a government of the people.

I have advocated the reduction of corporate welfare. Look where we are now. The corporations are taking us all down. But today we have hope. On January 20th, Barack Obama will become our 44th President. While I am hopeful about the possibilities for the future, the time has come to rise up and demand what we have all voted for.

If we all sit down and just let it happen with out voicing our concerns, the money trap will swallow our hopes for the future. Don’t kid yourself; these people that will take office are politicians after all. They will be looking out for their survival first as all of them have in the past. It is up to the people to make their concerns known.

The first step must be to get coprorate money out of politics. The next step must be for the working people of this counmtry to rise up and demand health care, card check, and that workers comp., social security and welfare be restored to functional levels.

The people must also demand that a level playing field be established for importing goods to help generate American jobs and American wealth. We Americans are paying for the benefit of coprorations to be able to buy cheap labor overseas and s–t can our jobs. You pay for it, and they they sell you out. In fact, they steal what little you have left.

The true patriot supports American workers and American people. Our children are dieing in Iraq to support the Saudi’s. That is the corporate way. Sacrifice your jobs, sacrifice your health, and sacrifice your life; all for the bottom line. It is the ultimate in soul selling. Only they are selling your sold to the devil for you, without your permission.

Stop them now. Get involved. Open your mouth. Speak your peace. Change won’t happen without you.

Yes you.

The UPS Family

       All of us are members of the UPS family. It’s a good family, it’s well respected and wins many awards as the ideal family. But we all know that in the real world, outward appearances often hide internal conflict. The ideal family is not the norm, the more common family is the dysfunctional family. Is UPS a dysfunctional family?
        Here are some examples of patterns that frequently occur in dysfunctional families. See if any of these sound familiar in your relationship with UPS. Just substitute the work :management” for the word “Parent”.

Parents have addictions or compulsions such as overworking, that have strong influences on family members.
Parents use threats as the primary means of control.
Parents exploit the children and treat them as possessions whose primary purpose is to fill needs of parents.
Parents threaten to withdraw financial support.
Parents exert a strong authoritarian control, often rigidly adhering to a particular belief.
Compliance with role expectations and with rules is expected without any flexibility. 


 Since we are treated as the children in this family, we all suffer some common problems. Some of us may often:

Experience “reality shifting” in which what is said contradicts what is actually happening.
Have excessive structure and demands placed on our time and behavior.
Be restricted from full and direct communication with other family members.
Be ignored, discounted, or criticized for our feelings and thoughts.
Experience rejection or preferential treatment. 


        Dysfunctional families often foster children who question their self worth and are unable to trust their own judgements. Not surprisingly, they may experience problems in their work.
        In common with other people, members of dysfunctional families often struggle to interpret their situation as “normal.” The more they have to accommodate to make the situation seem normal, the more bizarre their world becomes. Do you feel that life at UPS is bizarre? 
        Is your UPS the ideal family or the dysfunctional family?

Welcome to the Denverbrown Blog

You know what a blog is.

Blog: It is a specialized site that allows an individual or group of individuals to share a running log of events and personal insights with online audiences.

This is the Denverbrown Blog. And it’s not just for me. It’s for you too.

Denverbrown has been around for about 5 years and I’ve given a lot of opinions on a lot of issues important to me. Bob Newhouse  also poured out his soul on the pages of Denverbrown. Neither of us are timid about saying what’s on our minds. I know sometimes our readers have agreed and sometimes they haven’t.

Anyone who has something to say about UPS or the Teamsters or labor or politics or whatever is welcome to post here.

Just email me your story and I will post it up for you.

If you want to become a regular contributor, that can be arranged too.

Comments are welcome after any posting also.

Now you can share your thoughts and opinions. You can use your name or you can use an alias, I don’t care. Nobody else cares either.

It’s the ideas that we share that count. 

This is the page of Denverbrown that will be always be fresh and updated.  What’s new and exciting at UPS? You will find it here.  

So check back often. Hell, subscribe. But most of all, contribute. You know what I think, let the world know what you think!

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