I’ll start off with one of my rules of being a steward-
The More Things Change, The More They Stay the Same!
Telematics is simply an extension of the company’s desire to maintain complete control over a drivers thoughts and actions through fear. They used to do it by having a million screaming stupidvisors harassing, and bullying you face to face, with a work report in their back pocket. They would get in your face, (usually without a steward present), and tell you what a worthless piece of crap you were, and that they were personally going to make you their project, then go home and screw your wife because you were such a piece of garbage and she would like the stupidvisor more than you. (Yes, really!) The whole idea is to induce fear among the drivers in order to get them to perform at the highest levels possible.
The more things change! Today the screaming stupidvisor has been replaced by Telematics. Remember I told you that their Technology is designed to replace management, not the driver. For most of us Telematics just represents another harassment tool. Most of us simply report to work on time, and do our jobs that we are paid to do. Ironically the biggest casualty of Telematics will be the running, jumping, freakazoid, we all have in our centers that thinks it’s OK to run the company like a paper route. Keep in mind that many of your supervisors were just such people as drivers. PAS had much the same fear factor attached to it. Mostly it is the fear of the unknown. None of you need to worry about the system. They will not be able to use it against you out of the box. You simply need to perform your job as trained. They must do direct observation in order to discipline. That doesn’t mean they won’t use it for harassment. I’m sure they already find reasons to harass you anyway, right?
The more they stay the same! My recommendation to you all is the same recommendation I have made for 30 years as a steward. Go out and do the job you are being paid to do. Work safely, drive safely, make safe deliveries, come in when you are done. Our job is not a social event, or a time to go shopping, or a chance to get your car fixed, or a yard sale excursion. The company asks you to have contact with the customer to further sales leads etc. Other than that you need to keep your relationships to your own time. Most of you know these rules, and most of you follow them. You all know who are the real screwup drivers around you. Now with the advent of Telematics you get to watch them squirm. The rest of you can go in peace.
I’ve had about enough of the struggle by the repubs. to find an identity. They obviously want a kingdom, not a democracy. Really the only reason I’m putting this video up is because it’s funny, and gels down the battle over the kingdom.
The UPS National Grievance Committee settles national disputes and grievances that have been deadlocked at both the local and regional levels.
The decisions from the February meeting of the National Grievance panel in Ft. Lauderdale are now available online.
Click here to download the decisions from the national grievance panel.
The panel will meet two other times this year: June 8-11 in Philadelphia and Oct. 12-15 at the Hilton San Diego Resort and Spa.
This information provided by the Teamsters for a Democratic Union.
The last time I got bit by a dog was about 5 years ago. I had a residential stop, it was a fenced yard and I knew the people had two dogs. I secured the truck and as I exited, I whistled and yelled UPS. Opening the gate, I listened for any sounds of the dogs and hearing none, I started for the front porch. I could see that the front door was open and just the full length glass storm door was closed. As I got up on the porch I could see people inside so I waved and put the package down.
The dogs started barking inside the house and I beelined it back towards the gate. But when the first dog hit the stormdoor, the door popped open and out he came. It was an overweight Black Lab and he was barking furiously. The door slammed shut but didn’t latch and out came the German Shepherd right behind him. I knew they would reach me before I got to the gate so I yelled at the homeowners who were stlll nowhere in sight.
I turned to face the approaching dogs and held my DIAD as a shield in front of my legs. The Lab ran right up to me, still barking wildly. He had his nose right up against my leg, thank God the DIAD was between us. But the Shepherd circled around behind me. I yelled again for help. I couldn’t protect both my front and back at the same time. As I tried to walk backwards towards the street, the German Shepherd grabbed me right above the ankle.
He pulled me as he bit and I lost my balance and fell on my right side. I remember the thought flashing through my mind, “Roll, don’t just lay there or they’ll eat you alive!”. So I rolled and got back on my feet as fast as I could. I guess the dogs must have backed off as soon as I hit the ground and the home owners came out on the front porch. My DIAD was on the driveway and I must have looked like a crazed madman, shocked and injured, too scared to run and too excited to stand still.
The owners came up the drive and the dogs retreated. “Did he bite you?”, the wife asked. We all looked at my leg at the same time. I was already bleeding from the punctures. My leg felt like it was on fire. We went back up on the porch and they put the dogs inside. “Did Sugar bite you?”, the lady asked again. I think I showed a lot of composure when I simply answered “Yes” and collapsed into a chair. I wanted to kill someone. Or something.
The folks bandaged me up and I told them I was OK, even though I wasn’t so sure. I messaged in that I had been bit and got the message back, “Can you finish your route?”. Foolishly I replied that I thought I could. That night my wife made me go to the emergency room. Thank goodness she did because not only did I need antibiotics for the dog bite but it turned out I had broken a bone in my hand when I fell down. I was off for over 7 weeks and eventually retained a lawyer and sued the homeowners for lost wages abouve what Workers Comp would pay. We were asking for $5000. The lawyer said his cut would be a 30% of the settlement.
About a week later, the lawyer called and said that Workers Comp had called him and asked if they could just join our lawsuit to recover their costs from the homeowner’s insurance too. They were asking for $2000. I said sure. Why not?
We won $7000 and the lawyer took this 30% then gave Workers Comp their $2000. I was expecting $3500, or 70% of $5000. He gave me a check for $2900.
I must have sounded like that dog coming through the screen door. I was furious. He tried to explain it this way. His fee was 30% of the settlement. That’s what our contract said. Workers Comp had not contracted with him for fees he said and he had in fact asked me if I wanted to do them a favor by letting them sign on and I had said yes. I didn’t know the favor would cost me $600. The settlement was $7000. His fee was 30%. They were entitled to $2000. That left $2900 for me.
Now I was ready to bite. My wife was with me and we started circling, just like those dogs had done before they bit me. He started to look a little panicked, I’m sure much like I had looked on those peoples’ driveway. We were snarling out things like “unfair” and “misleading”” and the “Lawyers’ Board of Ethics”. He called for help by offering to split the difference. We only barked louder. Just as I lunged at his flesh, he conceded and forked over the rest of my money. If he hadn’t, I think I would have bit him.
Here is another good story about a UPS driver who had a close encounter with a dog and now is on the verge of getting bit by the legal system. People don’t realize how dangerous this delivery job is. Trial March 25 for UPS driver.
One of the best things about retirement is being home every night at supper time. The hours that a UPS driver works are just crazy. Being out on the route til 7:00 every night and missing supper with the family, being gone from the house for 11 to 12 hours every day, not being able to plan even the smallest event after work; that’s nuts. UPS pays well and the check looks oh so good with all that OT on it, but it’s really living to work, not working to live.
UPS has their hands all over you when you work there. They direct you, they schedule your life, they rip at your flesh. We get little tastes of what a real life is like when we are on vacation. We can plan our own day. We can do our own thing. You can’t do that when you’re working.
Retirement is hard on some people because they don’t know what to do with themselves. No schedule. No 5 day grind and overloaded weekends. You don’t have to push to finish a job on Sunday night because you know it will be a week before you can get back to it. It’s not an easy adjustment at first. It’s not easy to lose that feeling that you aren’t getting enough done. For some of us, our self worth has been set by our ability to produce for a long time. When you don’t produce, you feel guilty.
I went through a phase where I got up everyday and put on a brown shirt just so I would feel motivated. Then I’d wolf down some breakfast and lauch into a project. When I needed a break, I’d have to justify it to myself. I’d catch myself looking at my watch. I’d be counting whatever I was handling. I was doing my UPS thing.
As the months have gone by though, I’ve learned to relax a little. Sometimes I purposely sit and do nothing. While gazing up at the passing clouds, I have a little argument with myself. “It’s not a bad thing, I’m not wasting time. Time is not money. I’m living my life.”
But the biggest change has been eating supper between 5 and 6 o’clock every night. It feels so natural. It feels “normal”. Does that mean that life at UPS where you eat supper every night at 8 is not normal? Yes, I thnk that ‘s what that means.
It’s just amazing to me that these corporate whores just don’t get it. They continue to play the music that foriegn jobs, and foriegn companies are somehow good for America. Yes we will have a worldwide trade policy, but we say American jobs First! These guys just want to hang on to their overseas interest. They beg and bang for the bailouts only to wave the Chinese flag in our face. What these jerks don’t get is the American worker won the last election! This is about the American worker, and the middle class of the United States. I just don’t see what part of that victory these d–kwads don’t get. Read the attached article and write the Kiplinger report and thank them for being so American. While your at it write your local republican and let them know you understand how truley American they are, by supporting the American worker.
Here’s how they feel about working Americans!
Contact the Republicans Tell them how American You Think They Are!
It looks like the rift between the AFL-CIO and the Change To Win factions within the union may be mended. Take a look at the attached article for more information.
AFL-CIO and Change To Win Rejoin?
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. They 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
“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