The State of the "Union"

Discussion in 'UPS Union Issues' started by InsideUPS, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. InsideUPS

    InsideUPS Active Member

    State of the "Union" Address:


    To all my Union Brothers and Sisters. In this very important and critical year of contract negotiations, I would like to take a moment and outline several important facts that will help us ALL achieve our dreams and goals as employees of UPS. UPS has reported record earnings UPS Achieves Record Earnings Per Share for 2012 thanks to ALL of your hard work, efforts, and sacrifices. The time has come to address the serious concerns of bargaining unit employees which include forced overtime, harassment, guilty until proven innocent, and economic concerns such the implementation of healthcare co-pays, pension improvements, and equitable wages for part-time employees. With all of you joining together in this effort, we will succeed in our goals.


    First, in order to know and build on our "strengths" as a Union, we must first acknowledge and correct our weaknesses:


    WEAKNESSES


    1) Division Amongst the Rank & File - UPS as well as ourselves have done an excellent job of dividing bargaining unit employees over the past 35 years. Never before have I seen such a divided Union. The posts on BrownCafe are proof of this fact.


    First, UPS and it's team of negotiating experts take full advantage of human greed, fear, and intimidation. Every UPS employee (both management and hourly) deserves to be treated with dignity, respect, and compensated for the time and sacrifice that he or she puts into OUR company. The first step in achieving our goals is to heal and rebuild unity amongst all bargaining unit employees.


    Solutions to Rebuilding Unity:


    a) Unity does not mean that we have to agree with one another. We all have different opinions on various topics depending on our experiences, age, classification, etc. The most important aspect of rebuilding unity is to listen (read) to the concerns of others without lashing out or making judgement about one's solidarity. I'm confident that many people come to BrownCafe and never post comments because they fear retaliation. These "silent" employees vote..and unless we know what they are thinking.. we cannot address their individual concerns, wants, and needs. At UPS…. I have found that MOST employees DO NOT express or defend themselves for a variety of reasons.. However, many of these "silent" employees do vote.


    b) Full-Time (Drivers, Feeder, Combo, Air, Etc.), Part-Time, Retirees. The divisive posts on BrownCafe come from a wide variety of classifications and seniority groups. The age of the employee and the number of years spent working at UPS play an extremely important role on how each of us feel about UPS. Younger employees (0-5 years seniority) feel very different from those employees that have spent 10-20 years with the company. Employees in the 20-35 year category also have different feeling and considerations.


    Younger employees are often more bold and inexperienced when it comes to discussions on strike actions. This group of employees often does not have family concerns, etc.., The middle and older group of employees have worked through several contracts, have family obligations, or are getting ready for retirement. You cannot expect everyone to feel the same considering we all have different situations in our life. So, once again, I suggest that we all listen and understand what our goals are and how we can best achieve them. There are MANY OPTIONS other than strike to achieve a fair and equitable contract.


    2) Overreacting to Early Negotiating Posturing - All of us "seasoned" employees know what to expect when the final draft of the contract is presented for a vote. Most of us know by now that early negotiations are simply an attempt to set extreme parameters and bargaining discussions on various issues. Early negotiations are meant to show that both the company and the Union are working for the stockholders and the bargaining unit employees respectively.


    3) NOT Enforcing Existing Contract Language - IMHO, one of our greatest weaknesses is not enforcing existing contract language. I am always amazed on how much harassment goes on (Article 37), how many over 70lbs are lifted by one person, how SurePost ever came into existence with our current contract language, how drivers are working more overtime than ever, etc……without people becoming more vocal and engaged in Union affairs (grievances, etc.) .. What use is ANY contract if it's language is not enforced? Many people do not realize that the UNION is YOU…and YOU..and YOU… and all of US… The Union does not only consist of Jim Hoffa, hall, and your Local Union. There are NO production standards in the contract however many of us still believe in PPH, SPOH, etc…. even to the point of jeopardizing safety, and not following methods… We often allow ourselves to be set up for failure…. I suggest that more of you utilize the EXISTING language to ALL of OUR benefit….


    Summary-


    In these final months of "contract countdown", remember that there are a "variety of methods" to negotiating with UPS in order to achieve what we believe is fair and equitable. hall cannot do this himself. He relies on ALL of you for support. UNITY is the key to his and ultimately our "success" in these contract negotiations. I suggest we put aside the "old" tactic and/or talk of a strike until we have exhausted all possible non-strike options. It is extremely important to win the support of the general public in any type of possible work disruption. For those of you that remember, the 1997 strike was successful partially because the Union campaigned on the slogan, No More "Part-time America". Ron Carey did an excellent job in winning the understanding and sympathy of the general public at that time. Hopefully hall will do the same…


    America's Victory: The 1997 UPS Strike - YouTube
     
  2. anonymous6

    anonymous6 Guest

    bump.

    keep this one on top.
     
  3. rudy5150

    rudy5150 New Member

    3) NOT Enforcing Existing Contract Language - IMHO, one of our greatest weaknesses is not enforcing existing contract language. I am always amazed on how much harassment goes on (Article 37), how many over 70lbs are lifted by one person, how SurePost ever came into existence with our current contract language, how drivers are working more overtime than ever, etc……without people becoming more vocal and engaged in Union affairs (grievances, etc.) .. What use is ANY contract if it's language is not enforced? Many people do not realize that the UNION is YOU…and YOU..and YOU… and all of US… The Union does not only consist of Jim Hoffa, hall, and your Local Union. There are NO production standards in the contract however many of us still believe in PPH, SPOH, etc…. even to the point of jeopardizing safety, and not following methods… We often allow ourselves to be set up for failure…. I suggest that more of you utilize the EXISTING language to ALL of OUR benefit….



    I love this part of your post. I couldnt agree more. Teamsters need to man up and stand up for yourself. Grow a set. File a greivence if need be and stop lifting over weights without help. Why put more strain on your body. Union is only as strong as its union members!
     
  4. 104Feeder

    104Feeder Phoenix Feeder

    BrownCafe is like Talk Radio: no influence whatsoever. Think of it as a collection of outliers. If you believed Browncafe, Hoffa was going down hard to Sandy Pope and the exact opposite happened. UPS must have hired Karl Rove if they think Browncafe is anything more than your biggest blowhards venting.
     
  5. Now now play nice! Only the people that care or have a brain are on this sight...The rest of the mindless zombies vote how the union cronies tell them HOW TO VOTE!!! The same way that Nobama got into office!!
     
  6. 104Feeder

    104Feeder Phoenix Feeder

    I don't believe I excluded myself from that group, definitely not the "blowhards", so that's as nice as it's going to get. BTW, judging from the number of Independents in the Country it's hard to say that the Parties, the Union, or anyone told anybody how to vote. Ever notice all the loudest Talk radio spokesholes claim to be Independents?
     
  7. ocnewguy

    ocnewguy Member

    Sad but true. I was hoping for a little more insight into how the union operates when i went to my first union meeting. Instead it was 5% ups, 95% obama rally.
     
  8. PiedmontSteward

    PiedmontSteward RTW-4-Less

    DING! DING! DING! We have a winner!!

    The lack of solidarity in the bargaining unit is astounding.. I won't go into too much detail, but I've seen half a dozen of the least senior guys in my preferred job displaced back to the inbound/outbound because of staffing. Sups are working all over the place and no one will file on it; they have me stuck in a corner where I can't see anything. I actually had a guy walk up to me on the way out last night and he had the nerve to ask me: "Did ya get 'em?"

    I told him he needed to grow a set and walked away.
     
  9. InsideUPS

    InsideUPS Active Member

    BrownCafe in my mind is one of the few "places" that involved UPS employees can go to see what other UPS employees (both management and hourly) are thinking, doing, etc.. You are correct in that BrownCafe is a small sample of the UPS workforce judging by the number of views from various posts, although, I personally would not classify them as simply 'blowhards".

    BrownCafe is what you and I make of it and nothing more. There is no single host or commentator that has political bias, etc.. Each one of us is capable of reading comments, analyzing contributors, and topics. The various topics along with their corresponding number of views, the number of posts by each contributor, the join date, profiles, etc.. all tell a story about each one of us. In summary, BrownCafe is not an entity that I believe or disbelieve, it is a location in cyberspace that I visit to learn what other people think and offer thoughts on what may help us all achieve better working conditions.

    From your comment, "BrownCafe is like Talk Radio: no influence whatsoever", I should probably give up now trying to educate and influence employees from accepting a disastrous contract. Problem is....I really don't give up that easy...

    I have serious concerns about our current contract negotiations. I really do not believe that most UPS employees know what is about to "hit them". The vast majority of UPS employees are sitting back assuming that they will continue to receive the excellent wages and benefits they have in the past. Complacency and apathy are at an all time high as I view it in my building. I predict significant concessions on the horizon unless the Union (all of us) becomes very involved in the very near future......like NOW!!!.. Scott Davis is a ruthless, relentless, "bean counter" and will sacrifice almost anything to improve his "bottom line".. That "Last, Best, and Final" offer is not going to be pretty..... I'm sure that Scott Davis would like nothing more than being the CEO that broke the Union...

    We all have choices as Union members...."armchair quarterback", "sit around and criticize", "do nothing", or "do something" and become involved in a positive manner..... the choice is yours...
     
  10. InsideUPS

    InsideUPS Active Member

    Don't give up on your efforts ocnewguy... You are obviously a person that cares and are interested in Union affairs. People like you and I need to transcend politics in our effort to stay focused on important work related issues. Make no mistake about it, you will encounter "politics"within our Union as well. The key is to manipulate the factors that you have to deal with in a manner to help you and your fellow worker. Finding different and "creative" solutions to resolving problems is something that all of us at UPS develops over time.
     
  11. InsideUPS

    InsideUPS Active Member

    I totally understand how you feel. For the most part, intimidation seems to be at an all time high at UPS which is why many hourly are afraid of filing grievances. I partially fault our Union for this. Everyone is concerned about being "targeted" and losing their job. In our building, no one wants or can afford a long and uncertain grievance process. Depending on how well your BA is "connected" at the State level, it really comes down to a 50/50 chance of getting your job back. There is no doubt in my mind that UPS has significantly increased the number of "disciplinary actions...up to and including discharge" letters in the past several years. Basically, we need to "beef up" our contract language in the area of "wrongful discharges".

    As for me.......I would simply hire a labor law attorney if my Union failed to protect my job and I was relatively certain I had a good case. Perhaps we could find one national labor law attorney who would love to take on all UPS wrongful discharge cases. Several major successful lawsuits would make UPS think twice before discharging employees on the premise of being guilty until proven innocent.
     
  12. 104Feeder

    104Feeder Phoenix Feeder

    If what you want to do is motivate your workforce the best way is to quit wasting time on here and work on organizing at home. Take a page from Obama's campaign organization and get back to basic grassroots organizing on the smallest level. I've heard more than one talk radio blowhard denigrate him as a "community organizer" (are you listening Neal Boortz?) yet that community organizer made all the talking heads look like fools. So like I said, Browncafe has no influence, it's just a dull tool in the toolbox. Organizing is where the power is.
     
  13. Monkey Butt

    Monkey Butt You can call me Chappy Staff Member

    A lot of bloviating about nothing but the impassioned plea for gun control changes was impressive.

    I was amazed that President Obama reminded me of Bush Jr so many times in this speech. It was like he was mocking Jr.

    I thought the most entertaining part of the political speech was watching Boehner.
     
  14. toonertoo

    toonertoo Most Awesome Dog Staff Member

    I could not watch. There was not enough alcohol, and I dont do mind altering drugs, so Ill just watch the news. "Stay back, and still see it all"
     
  15. rod

    rod retired and happy

    Was Obama on last night? I was watching "I Love Toy Trains" so I wasn't about to switch channels. There is enough comedy on without "The Barry Show".
     
  16. UPS Lifer

    UPS Lifer Well-Known Member


    During the speech, I started seeing the pattern coming from other speeches. I heard a few lines about education that I am sure were word for word from other speeches.
    BO has done 1853 (give or take) speeches since he has taken office. IMAGINE THAT! He has only just completed 4 years almost 1500 days!!!!!

    I think the hardest (or easiest) job in the White House is being his speech writer. I say hardest because you have to make it "appear" fresh but it is easiest because you can copy and paste from a speech that was already given!

    That is how dumb they think we are!!!
     
  17. 104Feeder

    104Feeder Phoenix Feeder

    Everybody on the West Coast was watching the San Bernadino Sheriff's Office torch Chris Dorner.
     
  18. moreluck

    moreluck golden ticket member

    When the word union has quotes around it.....I don't think they meant SOTU and the pres.

    I think it means the state of the unions today.......like IBEW, CWA, Teamsters, etc.
     
  19. UPS Lifer

    UPS Lifer Well-Known Member

    Absolutely! It was a good thread starter. I read a lot of the comments. The one that hit me was - UPS wants the union membership to pay $90 for healthcare. (I don't know if that was a month or a year) Let's assume it is a monthly deduction.

    Teamsters supported Obama care
    HELLO, your union supported this president. Doctors and Republicans were telling you that Obamacare would have a major impact. Guess what? It is all coming true and now you get your panties in a bunch? Nobody cares, until they realize how it will affect them. UPS has to pay for Obamacare, just like when they were paying for the Central States Pension Fund. UPS was paying the pensions for other trucking companies that went bankrupt, PUTTING UPS PENSIONS AT RISK.

    Union members feel they are protect by SENIORITY.
    Big union supporters want to bleed the company dry. If the company has to cut back... Well, THEY won't be affected because THEY HAVE SENIORITY! Building are already closing. Sorts are closing down. EVERYBODY gets laid off when a building shuts down. Seniority won't help you!

    What if the company closes it's doors, like so many have?
    How do you think you are going to get a pension if the company can't pay it anymore? Ask California state union workers, ask these cities that have filed bankruptcy what is happening to the pensions! I know, it will never happen to UPS - think again. How many regions have been eliminated? How many districts? How many divisions have been consolidated? How many centers? - Now sorts are being eliminated. Packages are being rerouted and buildings are going to be closed. You can bet the company already has plans for lay-offs if the contract negotiations start getting ugly.

    Non-Union Competition & Poor Economic Conditions
    UPS has to remain competitive with the FDX and others - Or we will all be hurt. Start getting a clue, you got a pretty darn good job with great benefits and the reason is because you work hard and your company can compete with non-union companies. A strike means lost business FOREVER, and LOST JOBS. Jobs that won't be back. In the very best scenario, Just like GM, the company would be shrunk down and re-organized with lower wages and benefits and pensions or maybe no pensions at all.

    You Union Leadership has not sold you out. They realize that the company has to make big money to pay big salaries and big benefits. If the company goes under, 350,000 Teamsters stop working.
     
  20. toonertoo

    toonertoo Most Awesome Dog Staff Member

    OOPs, My bad.