2013 Contract Armageddon

     Time is screaming by towards the 2013 contract negotiations. The time to take control of the political scene, that will directly affect the negotiations is screaming by. The time to take control of the Union political scene is also on the near horizon with the election of Teamster National officers.
     The scary part is the apathy most UPS people have towards the upcoming contract. Many simply do not vote. Many of the regular voters do not take the time to educate themselves on the issues, or they put other issues ahead of their own livelihood. It is a common theme we play over and over again here on Denver Brown. “Get involved!” “Pay attention!” “Learn the issues!” “Educate yourselves!”
     Many drivers just continue to put their heads down, and pretend there is nothing they can do.The End of Your Future It will be interesting to see how they will suddenly become militant when they lose their healthcare, or their pension, or their wages, or their job security. All of these issues will be on the line in 2013.
     The question for many is, “why is 2013 so different?” The difference is a combination of the political climate of the U.S, the economic climate of the U.S., and the competitive climate at UPS. The attempt to regulate Fed Ex the same as UPS is a perfect example of how the competitive climate has changed. Fed Ex’s republican buddies hate the unions, and feel that Fed Ex should be given a leg up in keeping the Unions from getting a foothold. That causes the pressure on UPS to either negotiate away employee benefits in order to control costs at a level comparable to Fed Ex, and also creates the possibility of total Union busting to level the playing field in the small package trades.
     What does this mean to you? Give backs during negotiations. Fed Ex drivers function on a much lower wage level than the average UPS driver. Fed Ex employees work with much less job security than the average UPS driver. Fed Ex drivers are forced to contribute on a much higher level for their benefit packages. All of this comes out to the cost of doing business on the bottom line. Do you think it all goes unnoticed by UPS?
     Many of you continue to believe the Faux News mentality that the world will be better without the unions. Many of you believe you would do better on your own without the pensions. Many of you believe you will continue to receive your healthcare at the same levels of benefit and cost without someone to negotiate on your behalf. Many of you believe everything you see in the news. 
                         Many of you are in for a rude awakening!
     We will go through another major election cycle in 2012. That election cycle will be the indicator of what you can expect in 2013 during negotiations. Many drivers plan to leave prior to those negotiations because they know that costs are in the targets of UPS corporate management. Also with the declining ranks of the Unions, the Teamsters will be less inclined to put their largest dues paying workgroup at risk to striking. Many of you will recall that Bill Clinton was the president during the last strike. Had it been a republican president, we would have been forced to work without a contract, severely weakening the pressure that we brought to bare to save our pensions.
     The political climate of the time will have a huge bearing on the outcomes of the negotiations. The outcome of the Union elections will also have a huge effect. Every driver must involve themselves in the process of those elections to get the best, most qualified people in office. Just a side note, the average percentage for voting in the Union elections is 27%. One quarter of you decides for all of the rest. That is apathy at it’s best.
             Now is the time, for all good Teamsters, to come to the aid of their own life!

                  Don’t become your own worst enemy!
                                                Get involved, and vote for your life!