At the Teamsters meeting I attended a week or two ago, we were told that ballots would be sent out on November 5. However, I've read on this forum and others that they moved the date up ten days. So I called my local today and asked. Sure enough, I was told ballots would be sent out on October 25, and we should receive them by October 31. They need to be returned by November 16. This stinks! It allows desperately little time to study and debate the contract, let alone rally against it if we don't like it. Nevertheless, there is hope. First, let's divide UPS employees into two classes, those who plan on voting, and those who don't give a damn. I suspect many voters are going to take at least a few days to study the contract a little more, buying us a little time. In the meantime, we can target non-voters right up to the bitter end, trying to persuade them to vote. We should bear in mind that many of our co-workers will lose their ballots, or simply throw them away. Therefore, I think we should carry photocopied ballots with us, so we can give them to any such members who can be convinced to vote. But what if they surrender to apathy again, or simply forget to mail in their ballots? One possibility is to offer to mail colleagues' ballots. For example, if you can persuade a dozen co-workers who lost their ballots to vote, then place all their ballots in a single envelope and mail it via certified mail. Here are some questions we need to ponder: 1. HOW are the ballots being mailed? I assume each local will mail ballots to members within its jurisdiction on the same day (Oct. 25), nationwide. Thus, I would expect most UPS employees to receive ballots on Oct. 26 or 27. Is this correct, or are all the ballots mailed from some central location, in which case, it might take a little longer for more distant UPS employees to receive them? 2. Are the ballots somehow individualized? Yes or no, will the Teamsters reject photocopied ballots? 3. Will the Teamsters require ballots to return in "official" envelopes, or will they accept bundles of ballots sent via certified mail? * * * * * So don't give up hope. Though we are indeed under great pressure, there is still time to fight this contract. In fact, the fact that the Teamsters are rushing everything, without even holding another meeting where we can debate it, can be used as a weapon against them. Right now, the most important thing we can do is connect with co-workers who aren't taking this thing seriously. Try and persuade them to vote against the contract or at least hang on to their ballot for a few days. Solidarity!