The Big Brown Future

I’m not generally one to try to predict the future, but I can speculate based on what I see today. Obviously each of you reading our blog has the right to speculate as well and I invite your comments on the future at UPS and with the Teamsters Union. My speculation is based on today, tomorrow the economy may crash, Hoffa may leave the union, UPS may close it’s doors, the savior may return. Not being psychic I just can’t make those kind of predictions. Today we have the implementation of Telematics. The refining of PAS. The lay-offs of employees. The drop in package volume. The election of Barack Obama. The republican ability to filibuster anything that comes before the senate. A weak senate majority leader. The company’s desire to take advantage of the current economic climate to weaken the union. The attack of the right wing blow hards that hate the middle class. All of these things, and many more, present themselves to create what may happen tomorrow. My expectation is that the company will be cracking the whip on drivers for production. What I See About YouThey will sit in their little cubicle, with their computers on, watching your every move. You will recall in articles I have written in the past about the Lord and Master running the show from his throne on high. All of the new technology fits right into that theory. Telematics is designed to allow fewer management people to control and affect more people. They do look at management as overhead, not an asset. We have made the move in our building to one sup. for every 30 drivers. That would be impossible except they can pick any driver, and watch their performance on any given day, with the click of a mouse. Their favorite management tool has always been intimidation with a large dose of harassment. Fortunately the Teamsters have kept them from directly disciplining you using the new technologies, but it is still easy for them to harass you, and ultimately catch you in other ways if you are screwing around. The managers do not realize that the Teamsters have also saved some of their jobs indirectly, because they have required direct observation, which means more supervisors. When they can discipline off of the computer screen, you will see a direct reduction in management, (along with a large outcry from the usually silent Teamster member). My prediction is the company will continue to attack contractual language that prevents them from directly using information from all technological sources for discipline. My expectation from a Teamster standpoint is that the Union will be slow to respond, and will not be overly concerned until many of you have been harassed and/or terminated. The union presence has already diminished from my viewpoint in the interest of the card check legislation, and other political desires, (a very good thing but!?), meanwhile you and I are watching the company come in the back door of the vehicle with the power to beat us up from afar. Many of our Union officials are so far detached from what it’s like to do our job in this day of technology, that we should be very afraid of what they will negotiate on our behalf. In their support, I feel their desire will be to bring us the help we need, but we will have to rise up and let them know what is happening to us out here every day. That brings me to rising up. I feel that anyone trying to rise up will be targeted by the new technologies. They now have the ability to go after you simply because you open your mouth. My feeling is that they will attack the stewards, and any of the more radical types directly. The Teamster officials will have to get militant about protecting their workhorses within the rank and file. I have watched the end results of the JAC’s in recent years, and I feel that those people have little or no connection to the rank and file steward. It has appeared to become another throne like position to hold within the Teamsters. I don’t believe it’s due to evil intentions, it’s just the way the system is, and if the Teamsters do not do something to change it, they will fall by the wayside with the rank and file. No driver in his right mind will subject himself to the intense scrutiny the company will be able to bring forth, with no backing from the Union. So here is what my prediction would be based on today. I see the Union strengthening in numbers throughout the country because of the ability to organize. I see the strength of the Union being weakened inside the workplace because of a sense of detachment and a “slow as molasses” ability to deal with changing technologies. I see the company being able to target people simply for raising their hand as a Union member. As usual I see the membership being complacent and getting their news from fat, blow hards, and having no clue what is happening to them. All of this is based on today.
                                       Who knows what tomorrow will bring!

                                      Contact Your Teamsters Local Today

Thom Hartmann – Debating The Employee Free Choice Act Part 2 of 3

Screwed

“The American middle class is on its deathbed. Ordinary folks who put in a solid day’s work can no longer afford to buy a house, send their kids to college, or even get sick. If you’re not a CEO, you’re probably screwed.”


“In his book, Air America host Thom Hartmann shows how the American middle class that was so carefully constructed by our country’s founding fathers has been systematically dismantled over the past quarter-century, and, under the guise of “freeing” the market, replaced by a system designed to line the pockets of the super-rich and corporations.” 


“Hartmann shows that it’s not too late to return to the America our founders envisioned. Democracy requires a fair playing field. It will survive only if We the People stand up, speak out, and reclaim our democratic birthright.”


 
                                                                                                               
                            Part 2 – Thom Hartman –  Discussing the Employee Free Choice Act


                                            

Telematics

We all thought PAS was such a big deal when it came out. Now that we’ve been using it for a few years it doesn’t represent the big evil that everyone was afraid of. Everyone has gotten used to the idea and realized that functioning under it has made them more valuable, not less. Now we move on to Telematics. For those of you new to these pages, or relatively uninformed, Telematics is the new system installed in your package car to monitor your seatbelt usage, your bulkhead door position, your first move after start-up, and your vehicles computer functions, (ie. check engine codes etc.). My understanding is that it also contains a real-time GPS capability along the lines of your DIAD. I also understand that the system will not download any information until you reach the building and the key is shut off. It will document that time. It will not know if you are at the air dock, or unload doors, but it will provide an approximate arrival time. It is amazing to me how many drivers have approached me trying to justify their reasons for not using a seatbelt, or leaving the bulkhead door open once they heard about the system. This is You on TelematicsMy only response to them is, “there is no excuse”. The bulkhead door will subject you to the disciplinary procedure, and the seatbelt will get you fired for other serious offenses. The contract protects you from Telematics being used as the sole evidence against you, but it will be a simple matter for them to observe you on area, then back it up with the printouts available to them showing every infraction. The computer screen will show a flag at the stop where the infraction occurred. Did you back first? Did you move without the seatbelt in place? Was the bulkhead door open? Management will be given a 3 day class in the use of Telematics. My understanding is it will be operational in our facility sometime in the next two to three weeks. Please understand that I am not privileged to the official information or use, I just have the information based on the system installation, and where the sensors are installed, so you need to keep your eyes and ears open, and let us know if you have any differing, or new information on the system. I also have no information regarding it’s use in the more extended centers. I know the company is not installing the system in some of the older vehicles, but that isn’t an across the board statement. It’s easy to see if the system is installed as there is a big antenna glued to the ceiling, and if you have a new squealing sound in your radio, you need to look around. Please do not think you can disconnect or otherwise vandalize the system without consequences. They can tell if the system is unhooked, and will discipline you if they catch you messing with it. For those of you that do your job everyday, the system is a joke, and will mean nothing to your day. In fact they feel they can reduce management to watch you so you will likely be subject to less harassment which is a good thing. For you running, jumping, kiss ass, fireballs, that think you are running a paper route, you gotta big problem.  You are who they will nail. They will not care what you’ve done for them in the past. Remember our famous words here, if they can nail you, they will”! Not one of you is immune, and none of you will be spared. For those of you savvy enough to be reading these pages, pass the word. Let your Teamster brethren know about the system, and about Denver Brown.

“I HOPE HE FAILS”

Well here it is folks. The true American, and the leader of the republican party. Remember this guy makes 386 million bucks a year. He supported Bush and his cronies, and is probably the single most influential person in giving us the morass we live in. Along with his hope for President Obama’s failure goes the failure of the middle class. Something he has no clue about. Here it is out of the horses mouth, or possibly some other oriface.
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Hoffa Nails the Teamster Position On Trade With China

General President Jimmy Hoffa really nails what our position is on trade with China. We are not against China when it comes to trade and manufacturing. We just want a level playing field. Our workers in America have proven that they can compete and win in a global economy when all things are equal. The corporatists don’t care about workers, or the environment, or the world. It’s all a Race to the Bottom Line for them. If it’s profitable then do it. Screw the world, people, Americans, anyone, or anything that gets in the way. Americans stand by and not only let this happen, but stand up and vote against their own best interests in the hope that their lives will get better as a result
   Is Your Life Better Today! Know Anyone That has Lost a Job?
                         Thank Your Local Corporatist!
               

Should People Who Work Off the Clock be Fired?

    Should people who work off the clock be fired? Is working for free the same as stealing?  At what point should we stop protecting workers who violate the contract and start enforcing our labor agreement?
    I know that our National Contract and Regional Supplements with UPS spell out the steps and reasons for termination. They specifiy certain behaviors that the company finds unacceptable and will not tolerate. Things like stealing and being impaired by drugs or alcohol while on the job. And the Union plays the role of savior by standing up for workers who get into trouble and trying to get their jobs back.
    I know the already contract addresses the potential problem of employees working before their start times or during their breaks. It says that the company does not allow it and if the You're fired for stealingproblem is grieved, the remedy will be to pay the employee for all time worked. But the company does allow it. Some people believe they even encourage it. And why shouldn’t they? Everybody likes to get something for free. And managers and supervisors are assessed on their ability to get more work done for less money, so any work they can get done for free is money in the bank.
    But what happens when an employee works off the clock? First off, he is stealing money from his coworkers. If a job needs to be done, then it’s a job the company will pay someone to do. If someone does it for free, then they have prevented someone else from getting paid to do it. That’s stealing. And theft is one of those behaviors that the company usually finds unacceptable.
    Time that is worked but is not paid and reported as income is not taxed. Social Security taxes are not paid on it and State and National taxes are not paid. Would Social Security be hurting for money today if our culture had never condoned working for free and not paying taxes. How many dollars have been denied to Social Security over the last 50 years that could have and should have been invested?
    Working off the clock gives the company a false sense of how many people it takes to get a job done. If UPS dispatches 20 drivers and half of them skip their lunch, then they get 10 hours of free work a day. That’s a whole route that is done for free. There is someone waiting in the wings for a driving job at UPS and he will never get hired (or a driver will get laid off) if the current employees do his job for free. That’s not fair when the unemployment rate is already over 7% and rising. We need to be putting people to work, not doing their work for free while they struggle.
    That employee that will never get hired is also a potential Teamster who will not be paying dues. Our dues money goes to strengthen our position at the bargaining table and is returned to us in better wages and benefits. We are doing ourselves a great disservice to keep future Teamsters off the payroll by doing their work for free and showing the company we don’t need them.
    Isn’t it time we finally addressed the issue of employees working off the clock? This is not a radical idea. Other Unions have done it. The language needs to be put in the contract that puts the burden of punishment not on the company but on the employee. And the union should step up and protect itself and the country from these workplace thieves. The Union isn’t doing itself any favors by not addressing the problem. People who work off the clock should be fired.

New Car Loans?

It’s the ultimate in ironies. The car companies looking to get new car loans. Now it’s their turn. Hopefully they’ll also get the idea of what it’s like to deal with their salespeople, and their service departments. The fact is, most people hate the American car companies because of the treatment they get at their dealerships. The customers have to put up with rip-off treatment by salespeople keeping their keys, holding them hostage, yelling at them, and making their general sales experience a life living hell. Then the customer in turn gets to deal with condescending service writers, work that doesn’t need to be done, exorbitant parts prices, incomplete work, and again a generally poor and expensive experience. Now in fairness the foreign cars try to follow in the same footsteps, but the teachers in the system are the American car companies. I Love Old American CarsI love American manufactured cars, and will buy them whenever possible, but I won’t do business with their dealers, and I do my own mechanic work. I can rebuild an engine for what a tune-up can cost at many dealerships. I am a staunch union guy, and I support all of the efforts of the UAW to survive in this crisis. My contention is that the car companies are failing because of management bad decisions, not the cost of their labor. Anyone that tries to tell you otherwise does not live in the real world, (Richard Shelby, multi-millionaire traitor to America). If the guys wearing the ties don’t get a clue, the Detroit 3 will die like Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Yugo, etc. The first car company to live in the real world will surpass them all, (that labor union will see to it, and their people will thrive.) It’s just like the republicans failed to see, “you can deal with the people now, or you can deal with the people later, but one thing is sure, you will have to deal with the people!” 
                                    
Buy American, Your Own Survival Will Depend On It!

The Unions Want the Company to Survive, The Managers Still Have No Clue, See it Here
                                              The Chinese are knocking on your door.

What We Will Stand For

Let us not forget in this day and age of Tax dodging appointees, and wheel and deal Democrats, (Burris), about the last regimes lobbyist scandals with people promoting legislation for campaign bucks. The fact is some of the people we send to represent us are dirty. Most of them fortunately are honest, and hard working and without them we could not weed out the bad. Unfortunately you are being sold by the Rush’s, and the Hannity’s, and the O’Really’s that it is rampant in the democratic party, and they continue to sell you that Obama is no better than the rest. So far none of Obama’s people have gone to jail as in the Bush administration. (Oh good!) Also Obama at least holds hope for the future as opposed to Bush’s Republican sell out to corporate America. Let’s not forget! Let’s also not stand by and allow it to happen again. Write Barack Obama and demand he hold his people accountable, and that he boot them out if they do not know how to behave. Also contact Harry Reid and demand he do the same. Let them know we’ve had enough of soul selling politicians, that we expect them to represent our best interests, not their own. Whether they be Republican or Democrat!



Tell President Obama What You Think!!


Let Harry Reid Know What You Think!!

Let Nancy Pelosi Know What You Think!!

Remember these people work for you. We elected them to save our economy, protect our jobs, and to work for us. You have every right to demand that they hear your voice. You do not have to be afraid to let them know that if they do not perform as we elected them to, we will vote them out.
We have the power. Use it

Check out the VIDEO page

I’ve added a new page to the website. VIDEOS. There are so many great videos these days that I wanted to give everybody a place to watch them without having to search the whole world wide web. These are videos that I like; some are UPS videos, some are Union videos.  And in the near future I may add my own videos, so watch for those too.

                                                        Videos at Denverbrown

UPS driver information