Lawsuit Filed To Stop Union ‘Blitzing’

DENVER — Just as voting is set to begin on a new union contract, King Soopers is accusing union representatives of disrupting business and intimidating workers by sending groups of union representatives into stores to talk to workers.

In a complaint filed in federal court this week, the supermarket chain claims the union is sending groups of representatives, many of them dressed in black union t-shirts, into stores to talk to workers on the job and hand out union fliers and buttons, a practice the company said is known as “blitzing.” King Soopers asked a federal judge to step in and stop the practice both for the current round of talks and in the future.

U.S. District Judge Robert Blackburn said Friday he would consider the issue during a hearing next Thursday, two days after workers finish voting on the contract. That leaves the union free to keep talking to workers ahead of the vote. Denver area workers are set to vote Monday and Colorado Springs workers will vote Tuesday.

In previous negotiations, Mulligan said union representatives have checked in with store managers and waited to talk to employees on their breaks in the employee lounge. “Union representatives, who are often fellow employees, have a contractual obligation to talk to grocery workers, and we have not had any problems with Safeway and Albertson’s,” union lawyer Crisanta Duran said.

 Lawyers for King Soopers said the aim of blitzing is to disrupt business and intimidate workers and customers.

“While at the facility, defendants have hindered and disrupted operations, threatened, intimidated and coerced employees and staff and the public, and acted in ways that are not peaceful. Defendants interrupt employees who are working, go into non-public areas and pass out union fliers and pins,” lawyers said in the complaint.
7News

FedEx Readies Campaign against UPS over Labor Bill

NEW YORK — FedEx Corp. is set to launch a multimillion dollar marketing campaign on Tuesday against chief rival UPS Inc., arguing the world’s largest shipping carrier is the driving force behind a bill that would make it easier for FedEx workers to unionize.



The bill currently before Congress would switch FedEx to the jurisdiction of the National Labor Relations Act from the National Railway Labor Act. The Railway Labor Act allows workers to organize, if all workers vote on a union at the same time. That has been a roadblock to unions that could not afford nationwide organizing campaigns.


If FedEx Express workers were to be reclassified under the National Labor Relations Act, they could organize one terminal at a time.


FedEx’s nearly 5,000 pilots are the company’s only employees that currently have a union. The company has a total work force of 290,000. UPS has about 425,000 workers; more than half are union members. Most of UPS’ unionized workers are members of the Teamsters.


FedEx says that UPS will benefit from the legislation because it could potentially drive up costs for its closest competitor. FedEx also argues that more unions would mean a greater chance of work slowdowns or strikes.


UPS didn’t immediately comment on the FedEx campaign.


“It’s nothing but a back door attempt to make us less reliable,” FedEx’s Director of Corporate Communications said in a recent interview with The Associated Press. “It’s a legislative bailout for a profitable company.”


FedEx also warns that shipping rates for consumers will “skyrocket” if the change is made.


FedEx plans to launch a Web site on Tuesday called “brownbailout.com,” referring to UPS’ nickname, “Big Brown.” It will urge consumers to contact their legislators and speak out against the proposed change. The site is part of a multimedia effort, including videos and TV commercials, that will be launched over an unspecified period.


“America relies too much on the reliability and dependability of its overnight-delivery network, and we can’t allow this bailout to pass only because UPS can’t compete in today’s marketplace,” Lane wrote in marketing materials for the campaign.

WashingtonPost

Buy American Made Products






Let’s All Do This ….A Great idea!!



In our current economic situation, every little thing we buy or do   … affects someone



else and perhaps even their job. So, after reading this email, I think it   is on the right track. Let’s all do it!! “My grandson likes Hershey’s candy.  It is all marked made in Mexico now.  I do not buy  it any more.



 



My favorite toothpaste Colgate is made in Mexico now, so I have switched to Crest….USA.     You have to read the labels on everything. This past weekend I was in Kroger Grocery store. I needed 6 light bulbs and Bounce dryer sheets. I was in the light bulb aisle and  right next to the GE brand that I usually buy, there was an off brand



labeled, “Everyday Value.” I picked up both   types of bulbs and compared the stats – they were the same except for the price.    The GE bulbs cost more money than



the Everyday Value brand but the thing that  surprised me the most was the fact that GE was made in MEXICO and the Everyday  Value brand was made in the USA by a company   in Cleveland , Ohio!



 



On to another aisle – Bounce Dryer Sheets….you guessed it, Bounce cost more money and is made in Canada . The Everyday Value brand was less money and MADE IN THE USA! I did laundry yesterday and the dryer sheets performed



 exactly like the Bounce Free   I have been using for years and at almost half



the price! So my challenge to you is to start reading the labels when you shop for everyday things and see what you can find that is made in t he USA – the job you save may be your own or your neighbors! If you accept the challenge, pass this on to others so we can all start buying American, one light bulb at a time!



 



Stop buying from China, Mexico, Venezuela  ……….. (We should have done this a decade ago……) Let’s get with the  program… help our fellow Americans keep their jobs and create more jobs right here in the U.S.A. !!!  God Bless America!! “


Anti-Union

Colorado Governor Bill Ritter has shown himself to be an anti-union Democrat. He has alienated his base, and he will be voted out The Balancing of the Playing Fieldof office. Hopefully he will take Michael Bennet with him. We do not need hypocrite-vote shmoozer, anti-union politicians like him in office. 
                                                       Good-bye Bill

Are You Smarter Than Fox News??


Are you smarter than Fox News??

Can you answer this question posed to Jim Cramer on Morning Joe????

I’ll bet you can !!!


                             
                               

This is how Fox News fearmongers about the Employee Free Choice Act.

For usable information about EFCA, watch the next video with Ed Schultz.

Being a Better Union Brother and Sister


        Here are some things you can do to be a better Union member. 

        First off, think of yourself as a Steward. You may not be the real Union Steward in your building or workgroup, but we are all Stewards of the labor movement. Stewards do a lot more than just handle grievances. Stewards can be proactive. An active steward of the labor movement encourages members to support the Union Cause. An active steward is a friend who cares. Everyone wants an active steward on their side. Here are some things you can do to be an active Union member in your workplace. Try out some of these ideas. They are fun.

             Have a MAD Day. Methods Awareness Day. Set a specific day each week, like Tuesday and walk around saying, “The method of the week is parking on the right side of the street. Practice it, master it.” Each week pick a new method. “Three point contact entering and exiting the car.” It’s good practice for the coming of Telematics. The company won’t stop you and you get to talk to everyone. Communication is your best friend as a steward.
             Speak up at the PCMs. Work Denverbrown.com into the conversation at a PCM. You’ll be surprised how hungry people are for information. Or read the key points of an article from the contract, such as Art.3, sec7a. Read the first line. Or Art. 17, the second paragraph. Get in the habit of speaking up, make 30 seconds of the PCM your time. Union time.
             Come in 15 minutes early some day and walk around holding your contract book. People have questions. Have a cheat sheet ready so you can find the articles they have questions about. Write down questions you can’t answer, ask your Steward and get back to them the next day with the answer. Be around, be visible, be the Union.
             Do a printout and pass it out to all your drivers. List important phone numbers, like the Local’s phone number, the pension fund, the health insurance provider, OSHA, the Labor Board, UPS corporate, etc. Include website addresses like Denverbrown.com., TDU, UPSer.com, your Local Union Hall, NABER and others. List your stewards and your business agent. Put on a joke or a cartoon. Don’t slander the company, that’s not a good idea and it will turn some people off. The Union is here to help.
             Bring in a candy bar or some kind of treat for everyone some morning. Dumdums are fun and cheap. They make for some interesting jokes. People love trinkets The company used to give us something for Founders Day. Have your own Founders Day. Say you found a supervisor working and won a money grievance and you wanted to share it. Brotherhood. The company won’t give us anything again for about a hundred years.
             Talk to people about the Employee Free Choice Act. Strong Unions make a strong middle class. Do a Google search and know the websites that promote EFCA and strong Unions. Know how to contact your Congressmen and Senators. It’s not hard. It only takes a few minutes. Get people involved in protecting their own futures. It will pay dividends in the future.  

        These are six fun things you can do as Steward of the Labor Movement to make your presence felt and get to know your brothers and sisters. Your shop steward can’t do it all and he shouldn’t have to. It’s your Union.



FYI

FAA Measure Benefits UPS, Biggest Giver to Lawmakers (Update1)


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By Jonathan D. Salant and John Hughes


May 21 (Bloomberg) — United Parcel Service Inc., whose political action committee has given more money to federal lawmakers than any other company over two decades, is a major beneficiary of legislation approved by the U.S. today House that would reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration.


The measure includes a provision making it easier for rival FedEx Corp. workers to unionize. Under the measure, drivers for The Balancing of the Playing FieldMemphis, Tennessee-based FedEx could form unions locally rather than hold a national election. UPS’s truck drivers are members of the Teamsters Union.


UPS says the legislation would level the playing field, as unionizing would likely bring changes in pay and work rules that would raise FedEx’s costs.


From 1989 to 2008, the political action committee of Atlanta-based UPS contributed $19.8 million to federal candidates, more than any other company. UPS was the biggest corporate PAC giver in every election from 1992 to 2006, before Dallas-based AT&T Inc. contributed more money for the 2008 elections.


“Clearly, this is further evidence of why we have to get rid of private financing of campaigns,” said :Craig Holman, who handles campaign finance issues for Public Citizen, a Washington-based advocacy group.


UPS spokesman :Norman Black said he wasn’t able to immediately verify the numbers on giving.


“We are very proud of the participation of employees of this company in our political action committee,” Black said. “It is a point of pride that our management and employees understand the importance of our voice being heard in Washington. We play by the rules.”


Oberstar’s Role


House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Jim Oberstar, who inserted the UPS-sought provision, received $77,900 from UPS employees between 1989 and 2008, more than any other company, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington-based research group.


The Teamsters Union, which is trying to organize FedEx workers, gave Oberstar, a Minnesota Democrat, $86,500.


“As committee chair, Representative Oberstar is in the catbird seat,” said Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics. “So it’s no surprise that a transport company like UPS tops his list of corporate donors.”


Oberstar spokesman Jim Berard said, “Mr. Oberstar’s vote is not for sale for $77,000 or any other amount of money.” He added that Oberstar is seeking the labor provision because it is the “proper thing to do” and any implication that he is seeking it due to political donations is “absolutely wrong.”


FedEx spokesman Maury Lane said UPS lobbyists “inserted the bailout language that threatens FedEx’s ability to provide competitively priced shipping options.” He added, “UPS’s focus is holding back competition.”


To contact the reporters on this story: Jonathan D. Salant in Washington at jsalant@bloomberg.net John Hughes in Washington at jhughes5@bloomberg.net.

National Health Plan to Contain $2 Trillion Deductible

Hopes for a quick fix for the nation’s health insurance woes were dampened somewhat today when the medical industry released its draft proposal for a plan that would include a $2 trillion deductible.


“We know that some critics will regard this number as a little on the high side,” said Carol Foyler, a spokesperson for the American Medical Association, who had a hand in drafting the plan. “But bear in mind, once America reaches that $2 trillion number, everything is covered at fifty percent.”


The AMA proposal includes other details certain to raise eyebrows, such as a mandatory full-body CAT Scan for all Americans over the age of 12.


“Some people may regard this as unnecessary testing, but it’s going to take a lot of CAT Scans if America’s ever going to reach the deductible,” Ms. Foyler said.


The AMA spokesperson said that the health industry was looking to cut costs in other ways, such as creating a 50,000 square-foot “national waiting room” on the site of an abandoned Chrysler plant in Flint, Michigan.


The proposal has it share of other controversial features, including a pharmaceutical plan that consists of a plane ticket to Canada.


the Borowitz Report

UPS Production Push: Working Safe, Working Smart

May 22, 2009: In a tough economy, UPS management is getting leaner and meaner. New technology helps management push drivers for more.


Following UPS’s methods is the best way to protect yourself.


UPS management is laying off drivers, adding stops to routes, and pushing package car drivers to increase production more than ever.


“In my building, five drivers are laid off. That means more work for the rest of us,” reports Matt Higdon, a steward in Georgia Local 728. “Some of us have stop counts at peak season levels.”


The heat is on drivers to work faster and faster. And UPS is rolling out new technology that will only make the problem worse.


With new technology like telematics, management can monitor drivers more than ever. Every day is a potential electronic OJS.


The best way to protect yourself is to follow UPS’s methods.


Why We Run, Why We Shouldn’t


There are plenty of reasons why some package car drivers take shortcuts. Getting in early to see their family. Keeping customers happy. Avoiding hassles with management.


But running can get you into trouble:



  • Management will always come back for more. They’ll add stops to your route and expect you to work faster and faster.
  • If you have an injury, you won’t be able to keep up your old pace. But management will still expect the same production from you.
  • If you don’t follow the methods, management can discipline you for not working as instructed.

Work Safe, Work Smart


Matt Higdon, Local 728 UPS management is giving conflicting messages on an hourly basis: Go faster. Be safe. Build the business. “Do what the methods say to do and focus on keeping a safe, even pace,” recommends Higdon. “Don’t take shortcuts.”


Take your breaks at the appropriate times. Obey the posted speed limits, including those in your own building. Do your stretches before your first stop and after all rest periods—and do them every day, not just on an OJS.


Follow the methods every day—whether or not management is breathing down your neck.


“The best way to become good at something is to practice every day,” Higdon says.


That Special Day


Some drivers get nervous and speed-up when the supervisor comes on the truck. Don’t do it.


Management is disciplining drivers who have a higher Stops Per On Road Hour during an OJS for not working at a “demonstrated level of performance” when the sup is not on the truck.


What should you do to be ready for an OJS?



  • Follow the methods just like you would on an ordinary day.
  • Make a note of your load every day and keep track of misloads so that you can show the difference when your load is perfect for the OJS.
  • Get to know your pre-loader. They can be your eyes and ears and let you know how your load was changed on the day of your OJS.
  • Is the sup trying to do your work? “Make a note if you see the supervisor handling packages or opening doors,” advises Craig Karnia, a steward in Chicago Local 705. “You can use that to explain later why your numbers were higher on the OJS.”

Called into the Office


Following UPS’s methods is the best way to protect your job and your safety. But management may not be happy with your numbers.


Craig Karnia, Local 705 If management calls you into the office to talk about your work performance, be sure to bring a steward. “Answer management’s questions with clear simple answers,” recommends Karnia. “If they start asking you about something that happened days ago and you don’t know or don’t remember the answer to a question, just say so. Never make up an answer.”


“Management’s main purpose in these meetings is to intimidate you, and put pressure on you to push yourself too fast,” Karnia said. “Keep your cool, listen to what management has to say and don’t let them get under your skin. Follow the methods every day.”


If you get a warning, grieve it right away. If you get in more trouble later, a Teamster panel or an arbitrator will definitely take notice if you haven’t challenged previous warnings.


If management asks you to sign a letter committing to a certain level of performance, you can refuse to sign it. If management orders you to sign it, sign it under protest and file a grievance.


Strength in Numbers


Drivers are safer when more drivers are following the methods.


That starts when experienced Teamsters who know the methods take the time to share their knowledge with other drivers.


You can help by sharing this article and other tips with drivers in your building. Some members order TDU’s Daily Log Book in bulk to give to other drivers.


TDU is sponsoring a special workshop for package car drivers at the TDU Convention, Nov. 6-8 in Cleveland.


And we’ll continue our coverage of package car driver issues in the next issue of Convoy, with a special report on UPS’ new telematics program: “Safety, Service and Performance” (SSP).

What is management doing in your building to push production? Click here to let us know or to get in touch with TDU’s UPS Committee.

TDU


UPS driver information