Would love to work for the Teamsters

Discussion in 'UPS Union Issues' started by 8000Shelf, Oct 10, 2015.

  1. 8000Shelf

    8000Shelf Active Member

    What would be the natural transition into working for the teamsters as a full time driver?

    Stewart, Trustee, BA, on up?

    I've wanted to start going to our monthly meeting but it's an hour and a half away

    on a Sunday. However, I'm sure it would help to get know the folks in my local


    Any advice

    is appreciated.
  2. PT Car Washer

    PT Car Washer Well-Known Member

    Start off as a PT package handler for a few years and wait for a FT package car opening.
  3. 8000Shelf

    8000Shelf Active Member

    I am a full time driver and have 14 years as a Teamster Member. Just curious if any of our

    resident union people can give their experience on how they actually became a teamster

    employee (not a UPS employee working as a union member). Forgive me for not seeing a clear

    answer to my question in a decade and a half.
  4. silenze

    silenze Lunch is the best part of the day

    show up at the meetings, glad hand the members, get elected, then all expense trip to hawaii.
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  5. 8000Shelf

    8000Shelf Active Member

    Your joking about the Hawaii trip right? Not exactly why I would be interested.
  6. 8000Shelf

    8000Shelf Active Member

    Should have know better to ask a question like this on here.

    Never mind I'm done with it...
  7. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    8000----to be blunt, if you are hesitant to drive 90 minutes to attend a meeting, you are not really cut out for all of the demands of a union position. Our BA's regularly put on 1,000 or more miles each month while performing their duties. They are on call 24/7. They are well compensated but the rigors of the job often outweigh the perks.

    If you are serious about pursuing this you should start out as a steward. This will give you a very small sampling of what a BA goes through on a daily basis.

    Ask yourself if you would be able to tell a member who has been fired that the termination was justified and that there is little to nothing that the union can do on their behalf.
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  8. Takeback251

    Takeback251 Member

    Start off as a part time package handler. Become a f/t driver. (This could take 1-8 years depending where you work) Read your contract, learn your contract, live your contract. Become a steward. Learn how to be your groups friend, mentor, lawyer, advocate. Get elected to an entry level position in your local. Learn and live that job. Etc etc
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  9. BigUnionGuy

    BigUnionGuy Got the T-Shirt

    And some people give you no credit.

    That's a pretty insightful and honest assessment of the job.

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  10. 8000Shelf

    8000Shelf Active Member

    Thanks for the reply Upstate.

    Simply put, I see an aging Teamsters workforce. Even our stewards are 25/30 year guys, along with our BA on up. Not many in my younger generation know the purpose of our union and what it does to benefit them and everyone else. Although I am no expert, I was raised with an understanding for labor and realize it's importance. However you are correct. The job of a BA is a very difficult one and if I'm not even willing to drive 3/hr round trip once a month to get involved...
  11. PiedmontSteward

    PiedmontSteward RTW-4-Less

    You've taken a fair first step at being self-critical. Now you just need to fix it.

    Upstate did highlight on one of the worst things about being a BA (or an active steward) and that's telling someone they've lost their job and there's nothing you can do about it. This isn't having a conversation over a warning letter for methods (which isn't fun either), I'm talking about positive drug tests, bringing narcotics into the facility, serious workplace violence cases with multiple witnesses, proven dishonesty (with tape), etc. I've had to have that conversation more times than I care to count and it sucks.

    If you're not the type of person (or if you can't grow into being that type of person) that can tell someone how it is despite them flipping out/crying/etc, then that's definitely not a career path for you. A lot of people think being a steward/BA/local president/etc. is just about flipping over desks and yelling at managers to make them do what you want. Sure, you can do all of that but the person you're representing is still sitting out of work at the end of the day depending on the merits of the case.
  12. 8000Shelf

    8000Shelf Active Member

    Hey Piedmont.
    Not being as self critical as I was frustrated with being in an online chat room looking for a somewhat in depth question. I lost interest quickly.

    You gave the type of response I was looking for.

    I honestly don't know how long I'll be able to do this job as a f/t UPS driver physically. I missed a lot of work this year due to some of it. On my off time I get to thinking what I'm going to do next. I'd like to stay a Teamster if I can also.

    Honestly from how you described the position, it sounds like being the washer between the nut and bolt. I'm not sure how I would like it but I'll give it some thought.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2015
  13. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    What am I-----chopped liver?
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  14. 8000Shelf

    8000Shelf Active Member

    Kinda. I was just happy to get a insightful response from you.
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  15. burrheadd

    burrheadd Superstar

    First thing you gotta know is it's STEWARD not STEWART
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  16. Orion inc.

    Orion inc. I like turtles

    He left out that it's a very thankless job as well. But everything else was a good assessment. Being a steward is rough. Being a BA is a stress level I can't even imagine.
  17. Orion inc.

    Orion inc. I like turtles

    I absolutely agree with Dave on this. Thought I would never say that but he nailed it(there's a first time for everything lol).

    This is pretty much it.
  18. barnyard

    barnyard KTM rider Staff Member

    Read through all the threads in this subforum and you will see that many that work very hard for their unions also receive the most criticism.

    If you have no problem doing the most thankless job, possibly on the planet, then go for it.
  19. The Silent Bang

    The Silent Bang Active Member

    I'd like to input in this thread..
    You mentioned that your looking into doing something else because of health issues.
    Being a business agent, organizer, or in any capacity in our union will have you working long hours, weekends and some holidays. This is a service oriented job and taking care of our members is is priority one. The problem with some agents, especially at my local is that they no longer care about our members. This job can't be a "stepping stone" just because you want to do something not as demanding as delivering packages, you have to have it in you, you have to have that drive and passion to help members. Please don't do it because you want it easy, do it because you want the challenge

    Something else, being a Teamster official isn't something you can just apply for. You have to work for it, attend meetings, volunteer your time, get involved in your local.
  20. 8000Shelf

    8000Shelf Active Member

    My health issues are physical l thought l made that pretty clear. Yep gottcha l just don't want it enough and it's political.