Voting the Central

Will there be support for UPS, Teamsters contract supplement?


Teamsters Local 89 members at United Parcel Service Inc. again are voting on a regional contract called the Central Region Supplement.

The regional contract covers geographically specific work rules, seniority and grievance procedures and acts as a supplement to a national contract between Teamsters and UPS, Mike Mangeot, manager of public relations for Louisville-based UPS Airlines, said in an email.

Voting began yesterday and continues through Oct. 9.

Union members rejected a regional contract supplement offer early this summer, as Business First reported. But UPS and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters agreed to an indefinite extension of their current national master agreement and supplements.

“While under the contract extension, it is business as usual at UPS while the vote and negotiations continue,” Mangeot wrote. “Any suggestions of potential disruptions during this period have no merit.”

Teamsters Local 89 president Fred Zuckerman also could not be reached immediately for comment.

According to the Teamster’s website, there is not support for the regional supplement.

Union members held a meeting earlier this month and unanimously accepted a motion to again vote no on the supplement, a post on the site said.

The post said the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, rather than local 89, is leading the negotiations with UPS and “the membership has seen only token attempts to resolve the many issues still lingering throughout the proposed Central Region Supplement.”

Among concerns listed on the website are that the supplement contains “dangerous language” that gives UPS “almost unlimited power to terminate employees for anything the company deems a ‘serious offense.’” The post also references modifications to the union’s TeamCare health care plan, saying it lacks many of the key benefits members and their families have come to rely upon.

“Current full-time employees under TeamCare will have an inferior plan to both part-time and new full-time employees if the package is not further modified,” it says.

Atlanta-based UPS (NYSE: UPS) is Louisville’s largest private-sector employer with more than 20,000 full-time equivalent workers. The company operates its largest air sorting hub, Worldport, and a ground operation, Centennial Hub, in Louisville.

Teamsters Local 89 represents about 8,800 workers at Worldport and about 1,900 in the company’s ground operations, Zuckerman said in a previous interview.

Another union agreement, called the Louisville Air Rider, remains in negotiations, so it is not up for consideration, according to Mangeot.

“As always, UPS continues to negotiate a contract that rewards our employees while protecting our competitive position,” he wrote.

   Reporter- Business First