Where is this company headed?????

Discussion in 'UPS Discussions' started by 705red, Mar 28, 2009.

  1. 705red

    705red Browncafe Steward

    Over the last several weeks i have been talking with a lot of sups, part time and full time. Their overall moral is down! It got me thinking since i have almost 15 years in now and i have not seen any drivers go in to management in the last several years.

    I started thinking about all the on car sups we have in my building. We have 14 of them, and most of them have 20 plus years in and in the next 10 years at least 10 of them will be retired.

    What incentive is there for any one to go in to management? If you go you have to work until you are 57? You will not receive a raise this year, your 401k match is gone for the time being! And don't forget you MUST donate to the united way even though we took money out of your pocket while we are still making money!

    I think these cuts will have a far more lasting impact on our future as a company.

    Who will take these jobs when these sups are gone? Why would someone want this job?

    Go ahead ups keep focusing on the stockholders! Its only a matter of time before this company implodes from the inside out! And what will the poor little stockholders do then?

    Promote 21 year old part time sups from the preload to supervise drivers that have worked with the company longer then these kids have been alive!

    I truly feel bad for some of these sups! I know i fight with them, but only when i have to and the reason we fight is because of bad decisions from above! Imagine the fighting that will happen when we have sups in diapers running the show!!!!!!!!!

    BLACKBOX Life is a Highway...

    I think upper management understands this situation and probably takes this into account if they decide to elevate some poor p/t sup to this position.

    But think about it. If you are 21 yrs old, starting off providing for a family and trying to make something out of your life (with the urging of the wife of course) you hope that time will eventually prevail and the old timers will just see this hire as part of the everyday landscape.

    What else can you do? Someone has to fill that position and its certainly not any of the drivers cup of tea.
  3. pretzel_man

    pretzel_man Well-Known Member


    I thiink its true that morale is down. At least true to an extent. The cause however is NOT UPS "focusing on the stockholders". In fact I believe the issue is the opposite.

    In the old days, we worked just as hard as sups do today. Some could argue we worked harder. However, we had the comfort that stock was growing. We knew that down the road, there would be a reward.

    Today, we have three issues to deal with that make the situation very difficult. First, competition is much more fierce than when I started 33 years ago. We are no longer the up and coming growth company.

    Second, being a public company I think forces more short term view. Whatever they say, I know we spend more time looking at next quarter than we did before and less time on the next decade than when we were private.

    Compound this with the global economic crisis, and there is a perfect storm of issues.

    Now the other side, which I don't think you have taken into account yet. We have a strong, financially sound company. We WILL get past this recession. This is not new to us. We have NOT seen the huge layoffs and fire sales that other companies have.

    I think the management committee did a great job of explaining this on the report back DVD.

    We need the recession to end, and we need to grow. If we grow, this will be good for our people. We need to also take care of shareowners because they fund the effort.

    BTW, something very similar to the above paragraph was uttered by Jim Casey about 60 years ago.

  4. 705red

    705red Browncafe Steward

    Pman i look forward to reading your posts as they are very knowledgeable. I also agree with a lot of what you say.

    How long can we wait? I see more management leaving and less package moving up to fill these slots. As a driver i have way more respect for a sup that has done my job compared to a sup who thinks they know my job.

    This would be a perfect time to grab younger drivers in to management, because they do not want to get laid off or stay laid off. But even on lay off these drivers benefit more working two inside jobs, compared to going in to management knowing that the company will take care of the union employees before taking care of management.

    I have heard this from several sups that i have respect for. If you want good management, you must take care of them! Yes we are cash heavy right now and that is a perfect example of why these sups should still be taken care of.

    We are making money! We have money! Yet the sups get screwed!

    I'm off my soap box now, and please do not take my union card away! My biggest problem as a person is that i hate to see anyone wronged!

    Ups is spending millions to defeat EFCA, but if they only spend that money on their sups they would not have to worry about EFCA! IMO
  5. pretzel_man

    pretzel_man Well-Known Member


    Here is some more on what I see.

    Yes, its hard for the sups. Its been 25 years since I was a supervisor in operations but I havn't forgotten the long hours and hard work. They (as with all management) got no raise and lost the 401k match.

    That loss hurt me too, but lets assume less so.

    So, here's the other side. UPS management committee could easily have cut our pay as FedEx did. They could have layed off management as happened to many of my neighbors. They could have reduced benefits beyond the previous plan for 2009.

    They didn't do any of these things but took a middle of the road approach (for now). They explained this well. They are waiting for the company to start growing again. If it doesn't.....

    They have asked us all to do our best to simultaneously:
    - Maintain our current high service levels
    - Reduce cost
    - Grow the business

    If we do these thing, the young supervisors (and drivers) will be fine. If we don't.....

    Scott Davis said that in these times, companies will emerge in one of three positions:
    - Non existent
    - Damaged
    - Stronger and more focused

    Opportunites for our younger people will be minimal for a while. They will need to be prepared for when they come back again.

  6. 705red

    705red Browncafe Steward

    Your comparing apples to oranges. Fedex is in trouble, they are very debt heavy while we are booming with cash.

    The higher up's know that if they cut our (union) wages that we would not necessarily slow down, but we would not give 100% effort. Yet they expect the same out of their management who over the last several years have gained minimal yearly raises to off set what the union has gained in their contracts.

    Yet 9.5s are on the rise which results in triple time pay for these drivers. Sups working which results in double time pay for the filer. Laying off people wrong and covering their work as extra work in essence paying twice for that same work.

    Why not cut the difference out of the grievance monies, honor the contract, everyone will get along and the sups can at least get their raise or 401k match.

    The sups i have talked to are upset that ups pays these grievances because they are told to reduce cost and bust out the work, lay off people yet these people are working inside for 8 and then filing for the work performed making them more money and rising the cost.

    Im just practicing my steward skills so when the sups organize i can better represent them! :happy-very:
  7. tieguy

    tieguy Banned

    your guys retire at the age of 57? Everyone else can retire at 55. The incentive to go into management is still there some of the things you list are termporarily reduced. 401 k match and mip are two of the biggest incentives. The fact our full time sups are not being laid off during these economic conditions is another positive.

    I don't necessarily disagree with the rest of your post. I think this company chose to dance with the public stockholder and it cost the management force.

    I could have hypo'd under the old rules when our stock was private and left the company as a millionaire. As it is with the stock price where it is now I may end up working past the age of 55.
  8. pretzel_man

    pretzel_man Well-Known Member


    You want reasonable work hours for the drivers and I want the most efficient, cost effective delivery operation possible. I think both of our positions are fair.

    I don't think we really disagree on this point, we "may" only disagree on the best way to get there.

    Today, too many operations try to get reduced cost the lazy way. Just by putting more work on each driver. You are complaining about that, and I don't think its efficient.

    Rather than just reducing everyone's workload to avoid the grievances on over 9.5's, I have a different approach. Let see if we can agree on this.

    I would do the following, and probably in this order:

    1) Work with the preload to eliminate missorts. Every package put in the correct car and correct position as per the PAL label. I would work with them on proper methods as well (lip loading, facing labels, handling, dropping packages to the floor, etc.) With this step, miles and time should be reduced looking for packages and running missorts. It should also free up the supervisors time for the following steps.

    2) Work on data management. After step 1, there will be some packages that get "flipped" to the wrong address. This is mostly due to improper data management by the dispatcher and data acquisition group. I would contact corporate for help. This is best done after fixing missorts because now you know what is a flip and what is a missort.

    3) Fix the trace. This will probably take 1 day per driver to complete (probably in two passes of 1/2 day each. The dispatch supervisor has good tools for this if they are properly taught how to use them. This should save miles and time on road and keep the drivers from having to resort their car (another time saver)

    4) Reevaluate the dispatch and look for pocket dispatching and driver overlaps. These dispatch problems cause extra miles on road.

    After dong these four things I have reduced unproductive work and should accomplish both of our goals.

    By the way, this is what the supervisor is supposed to do in the first place.

  9. 705red

    705red Browncafe Steward

    I guess my whole point here is ups is robbing peter to pay paul and peter is getting fed up!

    Its just hard to ask a sup to give a 110% when he is getting screwed!
  10. sealbasher

    sealbasher Member

    we need a change that is for sure,sounds like same here in Canada
  11. mg5

    mg5 New Member

    Just need to add a few issues because I feel some comments are a little off the mark.
    Why would any p/t or f/t hourly want to go into management???
    Hourly-good wage and o/t, paid benefits low or no co-pays, outstanding prescription plan. Depends on job classification-hourly o/t (bonus ctr), over 9.5, Feeder driver-doubles,triples pay rate, Mileage or sleeper teams driver. Paid personal,sick, vacation and hoilday pay. O/t and double time for Sat., Sun. and holiday work. Some areas can work and sell or get paid for the vacation, sick and p/h days. RETIRE after 25 yrs with full pension and benefits at 50. (NOT 55, 57 as mgmt).
    Driver makes top rate in a few years.

    Management- low pay, takes years to get close to a full time driver wage.
    no o/t anytime for days, nights, weekends, holidays. Low raises always,none this year. Do not even equal your drivers raises.
    Benefits must be paid by all managment p/t and f/t. based on family size and plan it costs 200,300,400 + per month. Prescriptions are crazy. Can add another couple hundred or more a month. Oh, that's right you can have a spending plan to take more money out to save some taxes.
    Stock sucks. MIP, keeping 50% of MIP is another way company keeps your money again. Retirement was supposed to be a nonissue because your stock would offset that. Not happening. Can't retire until 55 or 57 or 60 whatever comes out next. By the way, someone mentioned fedx got mgmt pay reduced or something,think about this. If you had gotten enough to get a 3% raise this year and 3% 401k match =6%. So in effect we lost 6% +/-. And since MIP is based on salary it hits you again and anyone close to retirement it hits again in what should be your best last years
    Every year since we starting paying for benefits they go up. It's just crazy that any upper management (they do not care) could think things are ok and moral is good.I and many of my work friends are 25 and 30 plus year employees who Bled brown. NOT now. We were all full time employees who have done the jobs. This is not the way this company grew. Just one more thing. A p/t sup., single parent, 10 to 12 year employee has to for benefits same as all mgmt. Increase every year and can not work any extra to help make up costs because all p/t sup. oms and similar can not work extra like drivers. It is NOT the same company we have all worked hard to make stronger and better. Jim Casey is crying.....
  12. scoobypanda

    scoobypanda Active Member

    from your lips to god's ears......I don't know where you work, but if you were to go into a hub one morning, download edd, and go to that truck, you would find quite a shock. We still have to sort as much as we used to, only now it's more frustrating because we know we shouldn't have to,and there is no time allowance for it. Smalls are NEVER loaded in sequence, label out or up. Loaders take totes into middle of truck and start flipping smalls onto (hopefully) right section of right truck.HIN # 2000 bulk on top of #1000 bulk...50/50 chance. If you went a step further and compared edd dispatch to a good old hagstrom or actually took a ride stop for stop through the route, you would find many mistakes. If a driver brings a mistake to his supe he is told "it's not a big deal" or "it's only one stop" or worse yet, " I will look into it". Dispatch supes are running preload, so by the time we leave the building, they are ready to have a quick conference call, take their verbal beating for not hitting impossible piece/hour number, and head home. On-car supes are too busy with shuttling misloads or OJS. OJS takes a full week now, one day to look for easy target where volume is down or big pickup is on vacation.3 days for ride, making sure to get all OCAs and air or over 70 meets covered by other drivers in the area. Finally the 5th and most important day: move time consuming stop or area to another driver that is isn't in that supe's work group, or to a driver that hasn't gotten a ride yet. This allows supe to show his boss that he picked up time on his OJS. When center number is unaffected because problems were moved rather than fixed, higher-ups can clearly see that these drivers are really playing games out there and we're gonna have to hammer them. If you believe that one word of this rant was fabricated or even exaggerated, you are most definitely one of the over insulated movers and shakers at UPS. The concepts make a lot of sense, but unfortunately the reality is, the system as it is presently operating cannot return the expected results and it has little or nothing to do with the 1 or 2 percent of the workforce that UPS management is obsessed with going after. Time and money are being wasted on a daily basis at an alarming rate and upper management is looking in the wrong places to find the leaks.
  13. atatbl

    atatbl Active Member

    I'm not sure if you are a driver or not. I would definitely be interested to know. I laughed pretty hard at this, A LOT of truth is said in jest.
  14. Braveheart

    Braveheart New Member

    We should have stayed private. I am told the stock bonus is on a 5 year "golden handcuffs" hold. That by a manager who quit due to all the micromanaging. He got a raise and less BS.

    The old system was worth it to a degree. Now is a whole new beast. Some of the management is being downsized with the consolidation efforts that are accelerated due to the economy.

    Many spots go unfilled as well.
  15. local804

    local804 Well-Known Member

    He is a driver in my district and speaks the truth.
  16. pretzel_man

    pretzel_man Well-Known Member

    I also wish we would have stayed private, but let me clarify some of your statements.

    Stock bonus - 1/2 of the stock incentive is given out over 5 years. 20% in the first year, 20% second year, etc. This was good for the employee if they stayed at UPS and the stock went up. If they left the company or if stock went down, they lost out.

    Management downsizing - No management layoffs have occurred that I'm aware of. About 1500 management people are on the "bench". The current plan is for attrition to reduce the excess.

    Personally, I doubt that we would have changed the stock if we stayed private. That made our books look better for five years.

    I do not think the management downsizing has anything to do with going public. We did this as a private company too. In the mid 1990's, Jim Kelly (before he was CEO) made it clear that we needed less positions and the remaining management had to be a new breed. The "BS" is no different today than in the mid 90's (or mid 80's for that matter).

  17. brownman15

    brownman15 New Member

    sounds pretty much sounds like my center
  18. brownman15

    brownman15 New Member

    the dispatch sup runs the preload too does not have time to do any changes and on car sups and center manager are on the road observing drivers to make sure they are following the methods or to see why they are overallowed.
  19. Dragon

    Dragon Package Center Manager

    Outstanding comments from all!! This has to be one of best debate's i have read on brown cafe!! Bravo to all...
  20. speeddemon

    speeddemon Guest

    Its obvious that drivers and mgt. will never agree, and I dont care. I have been at UPS for 20 years trying to bridge the gap and for what? Not a damn thing. They never listen to us, and we dont trust them. Thats just how I see it.