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 pensions 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??
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.
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.
Well 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
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.
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
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 Union. 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.
As normal rank and file Union people we have done a wonderful thing (we think). We have risen to the occasion and elected a person we believe will look after our interests, take care of our family needs, help us for the future. We should be proud! The future is bright! Maybe! The ball is in our court now. Obama is beginning to make choices and push agendas that will affect us. All that’s coming out of the right wing sound machine is a hope for failure. Obama is under constant attack by the Limbagh’s and the Hanady’s hoping for his failure to implement the programs that will save you and I financially. John Boehner, (Randi Rhodes calls him Boner), continues to preach the tax cuts for the rich as the way out of our financial mess. Isn’t that part of the reason we’re in it. We vote them out, yet they continue to open their mouths as if they have some kind of mandate to be jack-asses. They continue to scream that the country is being taken over, (by you and me, the middle class, aren’t we Americans also, not in their eyes). They continue to scream that Obama is not an American, ( The Ron Paul conspiracy theorists are hard at work trying to spin some concoction that Obama is a Kenyan, not an American) to get you to believe there is some kind of foreign takeover happening. Meanwhile they are taking our middle class jobs to China, and stealing our government treasury, and enriching the Saudi’s, all the while lying to us that it will all somehow be to our benefit. They lie to us about what should be our Christian values. They lie to us about what should be our morality. They lie to us about how our guns are going to be stolen, and ammo will be priced and taxed out of the market. Many of you continue to fall for this crap. They are stealing your homes, and health, right out from under you while you sit there and nod in agreement with them going “yup, this Obama guy is going to screw up our country”. Let’s get this straight! The right wing has screwed the real Americans. The middle class is systematically being destroyed. Many of you are bending over and begging for them to give it to you up the ass. They are doing just that, still! Turn away from the propagandist’s. Turn away from the job selling, family killing corporatist’s. They do not have your interests at heart.
Many of you have heard of the possibility of the company wiring your package cars. The plan is to put sensors on your seat belts, your bulkhead doors, your e-brake, and your reverse gear. It’s happening now. Our shop has piles of the wiring harnesses to do all of the trucks, (except for some of the old stuff), in our building. I’m sure every shop across the country is gearing up for this major install. I’m sure the extended centers will end up with it soon as well. If your cars suddenly disappear for awhile you can figure you’ve got it. So what does it do? It’s simple. When you put your car in gear it senses if you have your seat belt on, and whether your bulkhead door is closed or not. Additionally it will tell if you put the car in reverse first and for how long. The other sensor on the e-brake will tell if you applied the e-brake when you turned the key off. The nuances of the system are yet to be discovered. When you return to the building at night it supposedly downloads all of the information, including the time you first hit the building. Again if you go to the air dock, or unload internationals, that may affect the real time, but they will know when you got there. HELLO BIG-BROWN BROTHER. “WE ARE WATCHING YOUR EVERY MOVE. PRETTY SOON WE’RE GOING TO PUT A SENSOR UP YOUR ASS SO WE KNOW IF YOUR REALLY TAKING ONE, OR TALKING TO THAT PRETTY GIRL AT THE COUNTER!!” How’s that for paranoia. Really for those of you that do your job as trained, (we have harped at you about that on these pages), it won’t change anything. Who it will affect are the balls to the wall, kiss ass that throws everything like it was a newspaper route. Those guys have big trouble ahead. I say Right On. All it will do is make a lot more good Union Members. What does it mean to you discipline-wise? You can be fired for not wearing your seatbelt. Get that straight today. That will be the major issue to come out of telematics. You can be disciplined for not closing your bulkhead door. You better get in the habit or you are going to have big trouble ahead, “up to and including discharge”. Close it every time without fail. They will know if its open when you are moving. The other stuff will aid in any accident investigation. No more lying about the e-brake in a roll-away. No more lying about whether you pulled into a space or driveway, then backed out. They will know. The big thing you need to realize is the more technical this job becomes, the more valuable you become. You guys that master this stuff are gold to them. All this system does is raise your value to the company. The major goal of the new system is to eliminate management. One guy will have more information than ten. The company continues to treat it’s management as overhead, and do everything in their power to reduce their ranks. If you read these pages you know about my “Lord and Master” theory. The company hopes to manage us all from one office in Atlanta, Georgia. That theory will remain until they create robots to deliver like in the movie Hitch. My point here is not to scare you, but to keep you informed. If you are on of those haul ass, kiss asses, you better get a clue. If you are one of those, get the job done right, and go home guys, you have nothing to worry about. The other little point is to remember there is such a thing as “too much information”. While this information is readily available, there won’t be anyone to look at it unless you rise to the top of the sh-t list for some reason. Do your job everyday, go home to your family, and have a nice day. Big Brown is Watching!
One last thing to remember is that the system will download any vehicle codes the on-board computer sets much like On-Star. Most of the time it won’t matter to you, but it will give an indication of vehicle abuse. Just a fact to keep in mind.
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.
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. *
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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