UPS Contract Scorecard

January 23, 2013: UPS is making billions. But our working conditions have never been worse.

Last time UPS and the International Union negotiated early, we got concessions. We need to do better. You only have so many shots at a contract in your career.

If UPS wants an early agreement, they need to address the growing problems under the current agreement.

UPS Teamsters are being kept in the dark by our Union about what’s happening at the bargaining table. We need to make our voices heard on the issues that effect us every day.

No new contract deal can go into effect until it is approved by UPS Teamsters. Our Right to Vote gives us the power to win a better contract.

We need to be ready to Vote No unless UPS delivers the contract improvements we need.

Click here to download the UPS Contract Scorecard.

What We Got in 2008 What We Need in 2013
Pensions & Benefits UPS achieved its number one pension goal: saving billions by pulling out of Central States and establishing a new plan that pays 48,000 full-time Teamsters in the Central, South and Carolinas the lowest benefits in the country. New part-time hires are forced to wait one year for healthcare, 18 months for family coverage. Protect and improve our pensions with increases in substandard plans, including the IBT-UPS plan. Protect affordable retiree healthcare. Restore health benefits for part-timers after 90 days.
Wages Longer wage progression: three years for new full-timers to reach top pay, including combo jobs. Part-time starting pay frozen at $8.50. Protect good full-time wages. No lengthening progression to full scale. Substantially raise part-time pay so all UPS Teamsters are making a living wage, not starting near the minimum wage.
Excessive Overtime Established Opt-in/Opt-out system which makes drivers jump through hoops before they have the right to file a 9.5 grievance. Penalties for 9.5 violations were increased when the contract is enforced. Raise penalties for 9.5 violations, including for harassing members who exercise 9.5 rights. Make UPS create new driving jobs when there are repeated 9.5 violations in the same center. Too much OT means not enough drivers.
Production Harassment No new protections against production harassment. Specific penalties for over-supervision and harassment. Prohibit use of “methods violations” as catch-all for discipline.
Protection from Technology & Bogus ‘Dishonesty’ Charges International agreed to contract loophole that allows management to terminate drivers based solely on information from technology in cases of broadly-defined “dishonesty.” No discipline based on GPS, DIAD, IVIS or any other technology. Close loopholes so UPS can’t use “dishonesty” as a catch-all to terminate members for lesser offenses. Human error is not dishonesty.
More Full-Time Jobs Article 22.3 language that requires UPS to create 10,000 new full-time 22.3 jobs every contract was deleted. Since then, UPS has eliminated thousands of 22.3 jobs across the country in violation of the contract with no effective or coordinated response by the IBT. Create new full-time driving and 22.3 jobs. Make UPS restore all 22.3 jobs vacated during the last contract. Require UPS to maintain 22.3 jobs in the locals where they are created and pay monetary penalties when the company does not maintain jobs or fill vacancies.
Supervisors Working Penalties for supervisors working were increased from time-and-a-half to double time when the language is enforced. Increase penalties for supervisors working, including a minimum penalty of two hours at double-time pay. Establish higher penalties for repeat offenders. Make UPS create a full-time inside job when there are 40 hours of sups working violations in a week.
Subcontracing/Surepost No new subcontracting protections. The Surepost program is not permitted under the current contract but the International Union has cooperated with the program without negotiating anything for members in return. Make UPS create and maintain more package jobs as a condition of continued union cooperation with Surepost. Tighten restrictions on subcontracting, including subcontracting by UPS Logistics or to UPS Freight.
Improve 22.3 Jobs No new national language for 22.3 workers. Stronger language that strengthens the rights of 22.3 workers to bid on overtime and job assignments. Close loopholes in Article 40 to improve combo jobs.
Fix the Grievance Procedure No improvements in the grievance procedure. Grievance procedure reform, including mandatory time limits that force UPS to answer grievances or pay stiff penalties. Right to strike over deadlocked grievances.


Unions 101: How to explain and defend unions to anti-union jerks

Our friends at American Rights at Work have a handy two-pager that explains what unions do. We condensed it a little bit. Keep it in your pocket and use it to argue with that biased relative at the dinner table.

Unions are democratic organizations whose leaders and rules are chosen by members.
A union is an organization of two or more employees who band together to bargain with their employer over hours, pay and working conditions.

Leaders are elected. Members draft and ratify constitutions that guide the union.

Unions represent all employees whether they pay dues or not.
Unions are required by law to represent the interests of all employees whether they pay union dues or not. They bargain with employers over contracts to establish pay, benefits and working conditions. They represent employees in disciplinary processes, lobby for laws that help working families and offer member benefits and fellowship. Union members help each other and their communities.

Unions are needed now more than ever.
If it weren’t for unions, there would be no minimum wage, no eight-hour work day, no child labor laws, no health and safety standards, and no weekends. Extremist anti-worker politicians and powerful corporations are trying to roll back those standards and destroy Social Security and Medicare. Unions are the only group standing between them and workers.

No country has a middle class that doesn’t have unions. Unions raise wages, benefits and standards for all workers in an industry.

Without unions, employees have no rights in the workplace.
Without a union, employees have no rights in U.S. workplaces unless they belong to a class protected by equal opportunity laws or labor laws. In most states, employers can fire workers because they don’t like the color of their eyes.

Collective bargaining brings fairness to the workplace.
Collective bargaining agreements are legally enforceable contracts to which employers and employees agree. They are intended to create a fair workplace by setting clear expectations for employees.

Collective bargaining agreements typically contain a clause requiring an employer to show “just cause” for disciplining and/or firing an employee. They make sure employees have a due process to defend themselves against unfair accusations by an employer.

Bad trade deals, not unions, are hurting American companies.
Bad trade deals hurt the American auto industry by giving foreign competitors an unfair advantage over U.S.-made vehicles. For example, Toyota was near bankruptcy after World War II, but the U.S. government rescued it by buying military vehicles for the Korean War effort.

Some of the country’s most successful companies have a union workforce, including: Southwest Airlines, AT&T, Costco, and UPS.

Unions raise productivity on average by up to 24 percent in manufacturing, 16 percent in hospitals, and 38 percent in construction. Union workers also have higher professional standards because they train workers.

Unions prevent jobs from going overseas.

Many collective bargaining agreements contain specific provisions that restrict the amount of work employers can outsource, helping to protect American jobs.

No worker is ever forced to join a union.
It has long been illegal to require and employee to join a union as a condition of employment. Workers may be charged a fee for union services even if they aren’t members because unions are required to represent all employees and because employers are forbidden to discriminate against non-union members.

No Rights At Work laws let government interfere with the freedom of employers and workers to bargain with each other.
These laws force employers to treat all employees the same, and they force unions to represent all members. But they allow freeloaders to take advantage of unions by not paying for the services and benefits they receive. No Rights At Work laws are aimed at destroying unions and lowering workers’ living standards.

Unions are always under attack by extremist CEOs and wealthy people.
The anti-union rhetoric you hear from extreme anti-worker politicians was bought and paid for by billionaires like the Koch brothers, Dick DeVos and the Wal-Mart heirs. They have a vast network of front groups, think tanks and paid media shills (like Glenn Beck) to smear unions.

Retiree Healthcare Cost

UPS Threatens Retiree Healthcare Hike

January 4, 2013: UPS management is flexing its muscles in bargaining. In late December they sent a notice threatening thousands of Teamster retirees in the company healthcare plan with drastic payment hikes.

UPS Teamsters need a pension increase, not a retiree healthcare hike.

Teamster retirees in the company health plan pay $50/month for individual or family coverage. But UPS is threatening to raise premiums to $247.50/month for individuals, $495 for spouse or dependent coverage, or $742.50 for family coverage.

These rates apply only to Teamster retirees in the Company plan. Many full-time UPS Teamster retirees are in Teamster plans.

The company plan cannot hike retiree healthcare costs until the contract expires in August. So why is the company sending out a notice now? It’s a bargaining tactic, plain and simple.

As part of contract negotiations, the International Union and UPS will bargain over how much Teamster retirees in the company Health Plan will pay toward their healthcare.

The company doesn’t really expect to impose the costs in its memo. By sending out a notice with inflated rates, the company is trying to soften up retirees and our negotiators to accept higher monthly premiums.

Management may want to hike monthly premiums to match what Teamster retirees in the Central States Health Plan pay: $200/month for individual coverage and $400 for spouse coverage. Central States has stated these rates will not go up over the life of the next contract.

UPS has pushed to get Teamsters into a company health plan, and they save millions because on average UPS has a younger work force than other Teamster companies. Now management wants to get the savings and also stick it to the retirees.

UPS made more than $4 billion in profits last year. They don’t need to nickel and dime the Teamsters, including retirees, who built this company.

UPS Teamsters need a pension increase, not a retiree healthcare hike.

UPS Worker Explains His Worst-Case Scenario

UPS men have their hands full during the holiday season, as a historic number of shoppers ordered gifts online.

 One brown-suited carrier answered questions about his job on Reddit.

[NOTE: Reddit uses anonymous sources, which can’t be verified]

People asked him what his worst-case scenario was:

“My worst days are any rainy day, and the entire month of December. Rain turns people into a–holes”

His weirdest package:

“I once delivered a package reeked like pot. I mean, if it wasn’t, it was the heaviest patchouli parcel i’ve ever seen. And the guy that lived at the house didn’t look like the patchouli type.”

On whether he ever gets bored:

“Every day is different so personally it’s not an option. You can burn out. An average day for us is 9-10 hrs. So if it’s really busy, you get tired by Tuesday. Bored, not really. Exhausted, absolutely.”

His rudest customer ever:

“A lady was once locked out of her car. She saw me pull up and hung up her cellphone, ran over to me looking excited and asked: ‘Hey…can you get in my car?’ I asked her how I was supposed to do that if she was locked out. She implied (but never actually said it) that I should know how to break into a car. I’m Hispanic and just pretended like I didn’t know what she was talking about. After asking several times, unsuccessfully, to ask me to break into her car, she gave up. Frustrated and pissed she finally said: ‘You know what?! Forget it! NEVERMIND! I’ll just call the locksmith back!’ I was floored.”

And his best customer ever:

“Food and especially cold water/gatorades are always welcome. In the summer, one of my customers used to leave a cooler at his front door with 3 or 4 gatorades every day. Just for me. Really nice guy.”

And the true story behind the rumored FedEx/UPS feud:

“I’ve never met an uncool FedEx driver. In fact, I’ve got 2 friends that work for FedEx. We make fun of each other, then I just ask to compare pay checks. That usually ends it.’

Ashley Lutz

Federal Complaint Filed Against UPS for Forcing Pregnant Worker Off the Job

Company Would Not Give Package Driver Alternate Assignments Despite Doing So for Non-Pregnant Employees

January 16, 2013

CONTACT: (212) 549-2666;

NEW YORK – The American Civil Liberties Union and the New York Civil Liberties Union filed a federal complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission today against UPS for unfairly forcing a pregnant package driver to take unpaid leave, refusing to accommodate her with light-duty work and forcing her to lose her company health insurance just before the birth of her child.

The company has a policy of granting accommodations to other workers who are temporarily unable to perform all aspects of their job. This includes workers who are injured on the job, those covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act and those whose driver’s licenses are revoked due to drunk driving infractions.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, prohibits workplace discrimination based on pregnancy and requires employers to treat pregnant workers the same as others who are similar in their ability to work.

“I was ready and willing to keep working throughout my pregnancy to provide for my family,” said Julie Desantis-Mayer, who has been with UPS for 10 years and works as a full-time package driver. “I would have been treated better had I lost my license. I’m a good worker who just wanted to take care of myself and my child. Instead I lost my income and my health insurance.”

Desantis-Mayer routinely lifts packages up to 70 pounds without assistance, working up to 14-hour days. She is the only female driver in her center at the Farmingville UPS facility in Long Island. When she told her supervisor in March 2012 that she was pregnant, she was asked if she expected “special treatment.”

In April, when she was eight weeks pregnant, Desantis-Mayer’s doctor recommended that she lift no more than 25 pounds for the duration of her pregnancy. Desantis-Mayer offered to do light duty at a desk job or delivering air packages, which were lighter than those on her usual route. She had been accommodated like this before when she pulled a muscle on the job. Instead, she was told this was different and was forced to take unpaid leave.

“By denying pregnant workers the same accommodations as other workers who are temporarily unable to deliver packages, UPS leaves women workers who start families out in the cold,” said Ariela Migdal, senior staff attorney with the ACLU Women’s Rights Project. “Thirty-five years after Congress passed the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, pregnant workers are still being pushed out of the workplace, despite their willingness and desire to stay on the job.”

In his annual State of the State address last week, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo called on state legislators to enact a series of initiatives to promote women’s equality and close loopholes in protections for women.

“Employers cannot continue to unfairly single out pregnant women for unequal treatment,” NYCLU Staff Attorney Mariko Hirose said. “This complaint illustrates just one of the many difficulties facing women that Governor Cuomo has sought to address in his vigorous legislative agenda for women’s equality.”

For more information about this case, please visit:

UPS crash exposes dangers of efficiency obsession

A near fatal United Parcel Service accident in Federal Way has raised new questions about the safety of some of those iconic brown trucks that line neighborhood streets nationwide.

UPS is converting its truck fleet to operate without traditional keys.

Most UPS drivers now hit a remote fob then tap a button on the dash twice to start their vehicles. The company estimates the change saves millions of dollars in time efficiency a year; however, a former deliveryman believes glitches in the system are putting both drivers and the public in danger.

Mark Haukaas is still recovering after he was nearly killed last year delivering packages in Federal Way.

Haukaas was working part-time around the holidays to supplement his income as a pastor. He had just finished dropping off a box when the truck he was riding in failed to start. “All of a sudden we were rushing down a hill with great speed,” Haukaas recalled. With the engine quiet, a series of mechanical problems ensued and both the power brakes and steering faded.  “I recall myself praying,” Haukaas told KIRO 7 investigative reporter, Chris Halsne during an exclusive interview.

Though the parking brake was engaged, it was no match for the heavy truck’s momentum on a steep neighborhood hill. The vehicle quickly careened out of control.

“My next memory is smashing into something,” Haukaas said. “I was in great pain; I knew something horrible had happened. Nine months later, Haukaas is learning to live with a fused spine, blind left eye and constant pain in his disabled hand, shoulder and leg. When KIRO 7 asked UPS to explain the accident and whether the new, retrofitted keyless ignition system might have played a factor, we received an email that stated, in part, “All mechanical and electrical functions of the package car were found to be in good working order.”

Yet, Haukaas and police dispute that statement. Federal Way police said their job was to investigate whether a crime had taken place. Officers determined that the truck driver was not at fault for the crash; however, police said the investigation into mechanical and electrical functions of the vehicle was inconclusive.

Haukaas insists that a piercing alarm began sounding off inside the truck hours before the crash.

“The alarm of some sort went off in the cab. It was very loud; I didn’t know what it signified, not sure the driver knew either,” Haukaas said. “It was very annoying and then later his supervisor came and spoke with him. I was kind of left in the dark but we were given earplugs which we used at times to try to gut it out and deliver the packages.” Accident scene photos clearly show a brightly colored foam earplug in Haukaas’s ear.

When KIRO 7 asked for a complete set of Federal Way police investigative files, UPS sought, then was granted (without our knowledge or participation in the legal process) an injunction to block release of certain crash-related documents. Once we found out, KIRO 7 challenged that ruling and a King County Superior Court judge sided with us; ruling nearly all of the documents relating to the case were public records. Those documents confirm the driver described the alarm to his UPS supervisor as “deafening” about five hours prior to the crash and that a supervisor was sent to Haukaas and the driver after two complaints into UPS’s local headquarters in Pacific.

Eric Gillett is an attorney hired by UPS in an effort to stop the full police file from being released. We asked Gillett about the alarm and earplugs. “I can’t speak to that…” Gillett said. “I’m not familiar with that investigation.”

Meanwhile, UPS might have a bigger problem than a mechanical malfunction with just one smashed truck.

Drivers tell KIRO 7 the new keyless ignition system has plenty of quirks—issues that make them feel unsafe. Teamsters Local 174 listed some of the safety issues in this never before released letter to Labor and Industries. The letter dated December 20, 2011 notes, among other things, that “cars lurch and move forward significantly when starting” and if the “engine shuts off while driving there is no power to brake system.”

What’s more, the drivers detail that “cars that don’t start still move/drive down road even when the parking brake is on” and finally that the “clutch safety system (is) disabled – allowing cars to start in gear without (a) depressed clutch”. KIRO 7 also obtained cell phone video of a local UPS deliveryman. In the video, the driver stands on the passenger side and demonstrates he can start the truck without being in his seat to push in the clutch and brake.

“Is this just the tip of the iceberg, a single accident? Or is this something more systemic?” asked Haukaas’s Seattle-based attorney David Beninger.

Haukaas has retained Beninger and the Luvera Law Firm for a potential lawsuit against UPS. Beninger believes ferretting out potential mechanical safety issues with the entire UPS fleet is just part of taking care of his client. “The more we look, the more we seem to find. The bigger the concerns and the larger the flag is,” said Beninger. “This isn’t just and isolated problem but something much bigger.”

So far, UPS appears to be downplaying drivers’ fears.

An internal safety complaint obtained by KIRO 7Investigators seems to reflect that. The safety complaint was turned in three months prior to the crash that disabled Haukaas. In the document, a driver wrote that the “keyless system will allow car to start without clutch being engaged.” A UPS mechanic responded with, “Yes almost every vehicle that has a clutch has this problem. Vehicle OK to operate.”

Haukuss tells Halsne, he hopes his accident forces UPS to do a better job factoring in how new, money-saving efficiencies might affect both employee and public safety.  “The individual worker is expendable,” Haukaas said. And by sharing his story, he hopes “it will help prevent this kind of horrible accident from recurring in some form or fashion in the future” and “empower certain ones to come out of the shadows to speak the truth.”

The Department of Labor and Industries won’t release its investigative files to KIRO 7 regarding the Teamsters complaint of the new keyless ignition system, but we do know this: UPS was not cited for any safety violations. Meanwhile, last year in New York, the attorney general’s office received a $1.3 million settlement against UPS over safety concerns.

Investigators found in 2004 and 2005 that more than 120 trucks were in use even though a supervisor identified “cracked” and “rotted” frames. In a press release, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said, “UPS knowingly endangered not only the lives of their own employees but the lives of the driving public. By keeping these rotting and decaying trucks on the roadways, UPS was an accident waiting to happen…”

Aside from the million dollar fee for penalties, fines and costs related to the investigation, UPS is currently required to have all their trucks in New York independently inspected.

By KIRO 7 Investigative Reporter Chris Halsne