Democracy on the run


UPS Union Ratifies Labor Deal Even Though Members Turned It Down


United Parcel Service Inc.’s union ratified a five-year labor agreement for employees — even though a majority of members who voted turned it down.

The 54 percent “no” vote wasn’t enough to block the deal under union rules because less than half the membership turned out to cast ballots, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters said Friday night. With such low participation, two-thirds of workers would have had to oppose the deal for the rejection to be valid.


5 ways to fight back


From demanding the Teamsters go back to the bargaining table to voting Hoffa out of office, here are five ways that UPSers can fight back.

UPSers are furious and rightly. We organized and Voted No to reject contract givebacks and Denis Taylor is threatening to impose them anyway by saying the contracts we rejected are “ratified.”

We need to focus our anger where it belongs—and put it to good use.

Hoffa and management want us to give up or turn on each other and blame the members who didn’t vote. But more members voted this time than last time—and a clear majority of us united against contract givebacks. We are on the rise.

Here are five ways UPSers can fight back

1. Demand Negotiations & a New Contract Vote

UPSers need to demand that General President Hoffa respect the vote of the members, return to the bargaining table, and put an improved contract offer out to a vote.

2. Eliminate the Two-Thirds Rule

The two-thirds rule in any form needs to be eliminated from the Teamster Constitution. Members can make this happen at the next Teamster Convention. Vote No activists will make plans to win this and other reforms at the upcoming TDU Convention.

3. Take Back Our Locals

Too many UPSers are represented by Local Union leaders that side with Hoffa and the company. We need to take back our union.

Some UPSers are already leading the way. UPSers in Dallas Local 767 and New York Local 804 are running for union office right now to throw pro-Hoffa, pro-company officials out of office.

TDU has launched the Future Reform Officers initiative to help Teamsters run for office and build local unions that stand up to the employers.

4. Give Hoffa the Boot

When this contract is over, the job is to elect new International Union leadership.

The UPS contract betrayal proves beyond any doubt that Hoffa needs to go. UPS Teamsters cannot vote out Hoffa by ourselves. But we are by far the largest voting bloc.

UPSers are located in every city and town in North America.

We can form the backbone of a grassroots campaign that can drive Hoffa out of office and elect new leadership that will fight the company and not the members by teaming up with members from other industries through the Teamsters for a Democratic Union network.

5. Check Out Teamsters for a Democratic Union

TDU launched the UPS Teamsters United campaign to involve every interested UPSer in opposing givebacks and fighting for a good contract.

But winning real change takes more than a contract campaign. We need an ongoing national network.

TDU brings Teamster activists together from every industry to:

  • fight for good contracts and enforce them
  • educate stewards and Teamster activists
  • develop a new generation of leaders
  • run for union office and build stronger local unions
  • elect new International Union leadership and hold them accountable

TDU’s national Convention is coming up, November 2-4 in Chicago. We’ll be planning next steps after the contract vote and holding educational workshops, too.

UPS workers reject contract offer

The ballots are counted and UPSers have spoken loud and clear by Voting No to reject a bad contract . The International Union announced they will return to the bargaining table with UPS.It’s up to UPSers to make sure that the negotiations are serious, and not for show. UPSers want the givebacks that caused us to Vote No to be taken off the table.

Defying a massive Vote Yes campaign run jointly by UPS management and the Hoffa administration, UPSers voted to reject the UPS contract, 50,248 to 42,356. Voters in the hubs and cities at the heart of UPS’s network Voted No.

The 10 rejected supplements include over 47% of UPS Teamsters. From New York City and the Atlantic Area to the whole Central Region to Northern Cal, UPS Teamsters rejected their supplemental agreements.

See the Contract Vote Results

We Can Win a Better Contract

Our union already had the leverage to win a better contract. The No Vote increases our bargaining leverage even more.

UPS is making record profits. The economy is strong and there is a nationwide shortage of truck drivers. Just this week, Amazon raised its minimum wage to $15 an hour, putting pressure on UPS to raise part-time pay.

On Wednesday, Hoffa negotiator Denis Taylor told local officers that he would ignore a No Vote by the members and accept the UPS contract if less than half of the members voted or fewer than two-thirds of the members Voted No.

Angry UPSers responded by calling the Package Division and circulating an online petition demanding that the IBT return to the bargaining table.

After the vote count results were announced, Taylor reversed course, but left himself a loophole. In a weak statement, Taylor claimed that under the IBT Constitution, “we have a ratified agreement,” but that he will return to the bargaining table to see if the company is “agreeable” to making adjustments.

Keep Up the Pressure

As a negotiator, Taylor needs to step up or step out of the way. UPSers have spoken and they expect the next contract offer to address the issues that caused members to Vote No, including two-tier 22.4 drivers and low part-time pay.

That will only happen if UPS Teamsters keep the pressure on. We’ve already made history. Organizing Teamster-to-Teamster, the UPS Teamsters United campaign overcame the opposition of UPS and our own International Union leadership to reject contract givebacks.

We can win a better contract, but it will take even more membership involvement.



Teamsters for a Democratic Union · United States

You can also keep up with Teamsters for a Democratic Union on Twitter or Facebook.