The Unions' Water Carrier

Discussion in 'The Archives' started by my2cents, Jan 29, 2003.

  1. my2cents

    my2cents Guest

    The Charlotte Observer
    Posted on Tue, Jan. 28, 2003

    Legal defense foundation files suit over UPS-Teamsters contract

    Associated Press

    RALEIGH, N.C. - A legal defense foundation filed charges with a labor board on Tuesday challenging a contract signed by United Parcel Service and the Teamsters union.

    The contract, which was negotiated last July, covers more than 200,000 employees of the package delivery company and gives them a 22 percent pay raise over the next six years.

    Attorneys from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation say the contract also illegally requires company officials to pressure workers to join the union.

    The foundation filed the complaint on behalf of Douglas Ragone, a UPS employee and non-union member who lives in Raleigh. He could not be reached for comment.

    Employees working in the 22 states with right-to-work laws, including North Carolina, have the right to refuse union affiliation without interference from the union or the employer, the foundation said in its filing with the National Labor Relations Board.

    "Teamsters officials are afraid to let workers choose for themselves; they know that without the fear of coercion workers will reject unionization," said Stefan Gleason, Vice President of the National Right to Work Foundation.

    Calls to local Teamsters officials and UPS representatives were not immediately returned Tuesday evening. The NLRB will determine whether to investigate the charges.

    The package delivery giant and the union signed the contract July 16 - averting a repeat of the two-week strike in 1997 that cost the company $750 million. The deal was approved by 72 percent of the union membership.


    National Right to Work News Release
    National Agreement Between Teamsters Union and UPS Illegally Undermines Right to Work Laws
    Company agrees to coerce UPS workers to join the union despite law
    January 28, 2003

    Raleigh, NC (January 28, 2003) Attorneys with the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation today filed an employees legal challenge to the national contract signed by United Parcel Services (UPS) and the Teamsters union that illegally requires company officials to pressure tens of thousands of workers to join the union.

    Employees laboring in Americas 22 Right to Work states have the right to refrain from union affiliation without interference from officials of a union or an employer.

    Douglas Ragone, a non-union member, filed the unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against UPS and the Teamsters. The NLRB is responsible for investigating the charges and will decide whether to prosecute the union and UPS.

    A contract provision requires UPS officials in Right to Work states to tell new employees that they should become full dues-paying union members. Ragone is challenging the agreement because the National Labor Relations Act prohibits employers from supporting unions and coercing employees into joining them.

    Teamsters officials are afraid to let workers choose for themselves; they know that without the fear of coercion workers will reject unionization, said Stefan Gleason, Vice President of the National Right to Work Foundation.

    In running afoul of federal statutes, the agreement violates the spirit of North Carolinas highly popular Right to Work law. Also, a state Right to Work law frees workers from being forced to join or to pay union dues as a condition of employment.

    Teamsters officials wrote this agreement as a direct assault on Right to Work laws around the country, stated Gleason. As more workers enjoy the benefits of a Right to Work law, union bosses are turning to more strong-arm tactics to take away their freedoms.

    The Unions' Water Carrier

    The language in question from the new master agreement, which affects new hires in right to work states is provided under Article 3, Section 2(b): In those states where subsection (a) above may not be validly applied, the Employer agrees to recommend to all new employees that they become members of the Union and maintain such membership during the life of this Agreement.

    Emboldened by the green light given by the U.S. Supreme Court for upholding misleading "member in good standing" language in union-security clauses in 1998, the IBT makes a pathetic attempt to undermine right to work laws. This clause was probably inserted to appease the AFL-CIO for combating Oklahoma's fairly new right to work law and the possible passage of similar laws in other states. Hoffa was also under pressure from organized labor to produce standards other unions could use in their own upcoming contract negotiations with employers.

    Union membership should be completely voluntary and the company should not have to carry the water for the union. No doubt, the company agreed to this to maintain the so-called "labor peace." The union must have been pretty desperate to want this language in the contract. Even with a plethora of special government-granted privileges, the fear of losing potential and existing members must be high. This language should be expunged from the recently ratified CBA because it tramples all over individual rights under the First Amendment.
     
  2. dannyboy

    dannyboy Guest

    And this on the heals of brilliant answer to complaints by members that their dues were too high. Their answer was to withdraw union dues on a weekly basis. Instead of 50 bucks a month, now 10-12 dollars a week. Big savings! Lowered those dues didnt they? But there are those that really think so!

    d
     
  3. my2cents

    my2cents Guest

    Good point. With rising dues rates, unions are apparently resorting to gimmicks to rope in new members and to keep existing ones captive.
     
  4. kidlogic

    kidlogic Guest

    The weekly deduction was so you wouldnt have such a big hit on one pay check. Not to "FOOL" people that their dues were lowwer.
     
  5. dannyboy

    dannyboy Guest

    Kid

    If you had to write the union a check each month for dues, 90% would no longer belong. THat is why they TAKE it out BEFORE you get your check. And now that they are getting so high, they know if they leave it the way it is, they will soon start loosing members, so a smaller amount, but more often.

    Take it one step further. If you have a mortage, you can indentify with this.

    You pay 1000 bucks a month for your house payment. If you make two 500 payments, you will pay your house off much sooner. Think about it, they can use your money for a whole month, before your dues are even due. Slick bunch, those teamsters[​IMG]

    d
     
  6. brownmonster

    brownmonster Guest

    $60 Bucks a month buys me a pretty nice wage and benefit package!
     
  7. kidlogic

    kidlogic Guest

    I know some people dont get it...UPS wouldnt pay us even anything close to our wage and benifits is it wasnt for the union. Its laughable that 60 dollars a month would make anyone even think about getting out of the union...Those who do just ride the coat tails of those who do.They know that UPS will pay them the same as the contract so why not get something for nothing... Think about it. The first thing to go would be health insurance. I have a family of 5. The insurance for one month if I had to pay for it myself would be over 600$. Even if the union put all our dues money and put it in a big pile and burned it.It would be a good deal.
    Just look at those temps hired to internationals. No benifits for them. You dont think that UPS from a money making stance wouldnt do the same given the chance??? Come on.....You would have to be an idiot of the fith degree.....
    Do you think that if you went to the FEDEX guy and said for 60$ month ill give you free health,a pension of 3500 a month when you retire,right to fair play in the work place and oh yeah you will make the highest wage in the industry by about 8 bucks an hour. And he would say "NO WAY 60$ A MONTH IS WAY TOO MUCH FOR ALL THAT". Now say it in the mirror with a straight face...see you couldnt.
     
  8. deliver_man

    deliver_man Guest

    Kid has got the 411 on this issue. The union is far from perfect, but we are much better off with it than without it. For those anti-union types who feel that "the sale of one's labor should be an individual matter", I invite you to put in your letter for management, or just head on over to fedex, where you can do exactly the same job for lower pay and less benefits. But hey, at least you won't have to pay those darn union dues!
     
  9. rushfan

    rushfan Guest

    How about working for airborne, fedex, or any other local carrier. I just hope the union will keep their word, and makes a big push to organize the competition. I had a supervisor tell me that he really hopes the union will succeed in organizing fedex.