Too Many Misloads???

Runners finishing the ING New York City Marathon Nov. 4 won’t find their clothing, phones and other belongings waiting for them after officials canceled the baggage-check service that’s been part of the race for decades.

New York Road Runners, organizer of the world’s biggest marathon, said today it is eliminating the service to ease congestion in the finish area for about 47,000 runners. Under the program, which has been run by United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS)for the past 15 years, runners would check their baggage at the starting line in Fort Wadsworth on Staten Island and UPS trucks would haul it to Central Park for the finish.

As a replacement this year, officials will provide fleece-lined, water-repellent ponchos at the end of the race and phone stations for runners to contact family and friends. Discarded clothing worn before the race will be donated to charities.

“Our primary objective is to provide our runners with the safest and best possible race-day experience,” New York Road Runners said in a statement. “We have received overwhelming feedback from our runners about the need to address the issue of post-race congestion and waiting time to exit Central Park.”

By mid-afternoon today, more than 500 people had signed an online petition on the website calling for the NYRR to rescind the decision.

‘An Outrage’

“Runners need fresh clean clothes, socks, cell phones, power bars, etc., in the bag check,” wrote a petitioner identifying himself as Ohmar Mercer of West Orange, New Jersey.“Without it, folks will freeze to death waiting and looking around for loved ones. Having no bag check is an outrage.”

John Ferris, 34, a New York City resident who says he has run more than a thousand races over the past 19 years, called the decision “the worst policy I have ever heard” in an e-mail message.

“It is bad enough that we have to go over hours before the race, often with bad weather conditions or wind,” Ferris wrote.“Now we can’t even have what we need with us.”

Other runners who didn’t get into the entry lottery this year said the new rule wouldn’t be an obstacle.

“Please let me in to run if people drop out, I can deal with no bag easily,” Baird Stiles wrote on ING New York City Marathon’s Facebook page.

The 26.2-mile (42.2 kilometer) race is one of the World Marathon Majors, along with those in Berlin, Boston, London and Chicago. Those races provide baggage checks.

New York Road Runners said UPS had provided more than 70 trucks and 300 volunteers to transport baggage. With the policy change, the trucks will no longer be needed.

“However, UPS employees will continue to be key members of our team, including a partner of our clothing donation effort at the start,” the NYRR said in a statement.
Bloomberbg News

Two removed from Republican convention for tossing nuts at black camerawoman

TAMPA (Reuters) – Two people were ejected from the Republican National Convention for throwing nuts at an African-American camera operator for CNN and telling her: “This is how we feed animals,” the cable network said.

The incident happened on Tuesday in the Tampa Bay Times Forum where delegates officially nominated Mitt Romney as the Republican candidate to face President Barack Obama in the November 6 election.

“Two attendees tonight exhibited deplorable behavior. Their conduct was inexcusable and unacceptable. This kind of behavior will not be tolerated,” CNN quoted the convention as saying in a statement.

Multiple witnesses saw the incident and RNC security and police immediately removed the two people from the forum, CNN said.

(Reporting By Alistair Bell; Editing by Eric Beech)

How Much ?!?

UPS Supervisor Awarded $18,098,478 In Retaliatory Wrongful Termination Case
LOS ANGELES, Aug. 28, 2012 — /PRNewswire/ — On Friday, August 24th, a unanimous federal jury awarded former UPS supervisor Michael Marlo $2,201,425 in economic and non-economic damages, and an additional $15,897,053 in punitive damages following a six day trial. The eight-person jury found UPS retaliated against Marlo for bringing a prior wage and hour lawsuit, reporting safety violations to OSHA and the DOT, and discussing and encouraging other UPS supervisors to file their own lawsuits due to safety and wage violations by the company.

“After two and a half years of litigation, we are pleased Mr. Marlo was finally able to have a jury of peers hear his case and see the evidence of what UPS wrongfully put him through. After 22 years of dedicated and outstanding service to UPS, the jury clearly felt Mr. Marlo deserved to be treated fairly rather than railroaded by a sham investigation that resulted in a foregone conclusion – his termination. And the fact that at the time he was fired his trial against UPS was only 5 months away made it all the more egregious,” said Mark Peters, one of the attorneys who represented Mr. Marlo. “We hope the jury’s verdict will send a message to UPS and other employers throughout the State that retaliating against employees for engaging in constitutionally protected activity is not only illegal, but is also immoral.”

The case is Michael Marlo v. United Parcel Service, Inc., United States District Court for the Central District of California, Case No. CV 09-7717 DDP (RZx). The verdict was reached on August 24, 2012. Mr. Marlo was represented by Mark Peters of Duckworth Peters Lebowitz Olivier LLP in San Francisco and John Furutani of Furutani & Peters LLP in Pasadena, California. UPS was represented by Elena Baca and Lisa Brown of Paul Hastings LLP in Los Angeles.

CONTACT: Mark Peters – – (415) 433-0333
John Furutani – – (626) 844-2437

 SOURCE Furutani & Peters LLP

UPS: Global Economy Getting Worse

NEW YORK (AP) — UPS expects the global economy to get worse before it gets better. Again.

The world’s largest package delivery company is more pessimistic about U.S. growth than many economists. It predicts global trade will grow even slower than the world’s economies — a trend not seen since the recession. It’s making cuts in its business and reducing its earnings projections.

UPS on Tuesday lowered its forecast for all of 2012 and said its third-quarter earnings will fall below last year’s results.

Customers are worried about the global economy weakening in the second half of the year, the company said. Their skittishness was also felt in the second quarter, where UPS missed analysts’ expectations for both earnings and revenue. The stock fell more than 4 percent in midday trading.

“Economies around the world are showing signs of weakening and our customers are increasingly nervous,” Chairman and CEO Scott Davis said in a conference call with analysts.

That sentiment, along with similar comments from chemical maker DuPont, weighed on investors, who are already nervous about the global economy. The S&P 500 index dropped 0.5 percent in the morning. UPS is a closely watched barometer of broader economic health because it moves millions of packages between consumers and businesses every day.

UPS said it expects the U.S. economy, by far the world’s largest, will grow just 1 percent this year. The company cited stalling growth from U.S. service companies, lower retail sales and still-high unemployment as signals that the U.S. isn’t holding up as well as UPS anticipated just three months ago.

Although economists have been cutting their projections, estimates for U.S. economic growth this year are still in a range of about 1.8 percent to 2 percent.

This marks the third straight year growth has stalled at mid-year after getting off to a promising start.

UPS cut its full-year earnings forecast by 25 cents per share to $4.50 to $4.75. Wall Street had been expecting earnings of $4.82, according to FactSet.

For the three months ended in June, UPS said net income rose 2 percent to $1.12 billion, or $1.15 per share, compared with $1.09 billion, or $1.09 per share, a year earlier. Analysts expected $1.17 per share according to FactSet.

Revenue for the Atlanta company rose 1.2 percent to $13.35 billion.

In the U.S., revenue rose 4 percent from a year earlier, driven by a higher volume of packages. UPS said the increase was mostly due to a higher number of packages ordered from Internet retailers.

Overseas, revenue fell 4 percent on lower exports from Asia and falling revenue per package, an indication of lower prices.

Revenue in UPS’ supply chain and freight business fell 1.7 percent. That segment includes both UPS’ long haul trucking business and a unit that helps manufacturers streamline and make their businesses more efficient.

A month ago, rival FedEx Corp. warned that slow global economic growth will crimp its earnings over the next 12 months.

UPS said Tuesday that it’s cutting some flights out of Asia and reducing the frequency of others over the next several quarters to counter slowing demand. That amounts to a 10 percent cut in capacity on Asia flights, on top of a previous 10 percent reduction.

The company warned it would take additional actions, if necessary, to bolster its financial results.

UPS does see one bright spot ahead: it believes fourth-quarter earnings will be buoyed by major technology product launches ahead of the busy holiday season. Apple Inc. is expected to release a new version of the iPhone in the fall.

United Parcel Service to roll out Motorola digital scanners

United Parcel Service Inc. is deploying a new type of wearable scanner for employees designed to accelerate package loading and information visibility.

The new device, made by Motorola Solutions, consists of a hands-free imager that is worn on a finger and a small terminal worn on the employee’s wrist or hip.

The imager is a major advancement because it automatically scans based on label-sensing technology, allowing UPS employees to more quickly image barcodes compared to the current “point and shoot” method available with existing equipment, according to a news release.

The scans are key to providing the tracking data that feeds the 32.1 million tracking requests viewed daily on, the release said.

The scanner sends each package’s tracking information via Bluetooth to the terminal worn on the wrist or hip. The data is then transmitted via Wi-Fi to the UPS facility network and ultimately to UPS’s global data centers to be stored and processed for access by customers.

The imager also helps avoid service disruptions by verifying that a package is being loaded into the proper trailer or air container. An audible and visible alert identifies any package that’s about to be loaded incorrectly.

UPS began deploying the new system last year, and 28,000 ring imager and terminal devices are in use at 480 facilities. The deployment will be completed by the fourth quarter of 2013 with more than 38,000 ring imager and terminal devices in use at 1,383 facilities.

Atlanta-based UPS (NYSE: UPS) bases its UPS Airlines division in Louisville.

UPS’s Worldport facility in Louisville is a 5.2 million-square-foot sorting hub — its largest sorting facility. The facility can sort about 416,000 packages/documents per hour.

“UPS is always examining new ways to improve our delivery reliability and provide timely and accurate shipment information to our customers,” Juan Perez, UPS vice president of information services, said in the release. “Effectively deploying mobile and pervasive computing technologies like this allows us to achieve those goals, with higher performance, and a more rugged, longer- lasting piece of hardware.”
Business First

TDU Asks the Big Question


Could the Central States Pension Fund Go Insolvent?

August 22, 2012: It’s an ugly question, but one that has to be faced. And then our union needs to take action to deal with the problem, to prevent it from happening.
     The Hoffa administration has all but given up on the Central States Pension Plan. This decision could have dire consequences for 280,000 Teamsters and retirees, numerous Teamster officers, and the financial viability of hundreds of Teamster locals.
     What can be done to prevent this train wreck for Teamster pensions and Teamster power?
     The key turning point came in late 2007 when James Hoffa and Ken Hall gave UPS management their long-sought concession: pulling out 44,000 full-time Teamsters—and said good-bye to the $800 million (and growing) that UPS would be contributing annually.
     This sell-out set off a cascade of events. Other companies pulled out; added withdrawal liability to YRCW’s balance sheet; and a ratio of retirees to actives which is now over 3:1. Then the stock market, which the fund became heavily dependent on, took a tumble.
     It gave UPS workers some short-term security, but now their pensions are in the hands of the company for decades to come. It also endangered the local unions that UPS workers belong to.
     In late August, Hostess Brands Teamsters are voting on a proposed national contract which would pull thousands of more Teamsters out of the Central States Fund (and other Teamster pension plans). Hostess is in bankruptcy.
     The 2011 Financial and Analytical Reports for the fund show that it ended the year with $17.7 billion, down $2.2 billion in a year. The fund depends on investment returns to pay benefits, and now must earn 12 percent a year on investments to tread water. This is not viable.
     Fund Director Thomas Nyhan testified two years ago before Congress that the fund could be insolvent in a decade, without a lifeline of relief.
     The Consequences
Over 213,000 retirees depend on the fund for their promised retirement after a lifetime of Teamster work. Another 67,000 active members have been promised a pension in the future.
     If the fund becomes insolvent, Teamsters would be dependent on the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), which has a maximum payout per month of $1,080 for a Teamster with 30 years credit.
     That tells you how devastating this would be.
     Officers and Local Unions
Among the biggest losers would be Teamster local officers and business agents throughout the Central and Southern Regions and the Carolinas. Most of them retire with high seniority and a good pension.
     For most of them, Central States provides their only pension, and it stands to be slashed to about $1,000 per month. (Officials in the South have an additional, officers-only pension plan.)
     And if the fund fails, who then will want to become a union officer? The local unions cannot leave the Central States Plan, because the withdrawal liability payment would break them financially.
     Our local unions would then be financially burdened and weakened.
     Incredibly, most of these officers campaigned last year for James Hoffa and Ken Hall, the architects of the disaster in their own pension plan.
     Concerned Teamsters need to stand up and speak out. It’s not too late to save our pensions and union but the clock is ticking.
     The International Union needs to take a firm stand that no more corporations will be allowed to pull out. Hoffa has done the opposite, and in fact just bargained the National Pipeline Agreement to allow more companies out of Central States.
     In addition, we need a political movement to save pensions in this country, initiated by the Teamsters but with a broad coalition of support. That won’t happen in this election year, but its time to start laying the basis for it.
     Two years ago Senator Robert Casey of Pennsylvania sponsored a bill to help protect pension plans, and strengthen the PBGC and increase its guarantees. It had some bipartisan support, and was announced at the YRC terminal in Carlisle, Pa.
     There was talk among Teamster members and officers about a march on Washington and building a broad coalition in defense of pensions. Members and retirees responded very favorably to this kind of action. The Hoffa administration poured cold water on it, in favor of lobbying politicians behind the scenes.
     It’s time to put protection of pensions front and center on the Teamster agenda and on the national political agenda.