BonusCenter Equals More Stops, Long Hours, Shrinking Bonus Fred StephensLocal 89, UPS Louisville, Ky. Ashbottom center, where I work, switched to the UPS bonus center plan years ago. In a bonus center, drivers get paid extra if they finish their deliveries under time. Extra money sounds great. But you should talk to drivers at bonus centers like Ashbottom before you buy the UPS sales pitch. Here is what we can tell you happens if you buy into the bonus plan: Stops are increased. For a while youll make out okay. Then youll see your route start to change and the hours get longer. Managers add additional pickups. The faster you work, the more stops they assign you. When we were re-time studied, drivers at Ashbottom lost one to two hours. Recently, I talked to two bonus center drivers who had 185 stops and 210 respectively. This was a 9 p.m. day for them. They used to get off at about 6 p.m. or so before they re-time studied the center. They are no longer making bonus but their stops per hour have been raised so high that they cannot slow down now. Production pressure increases. More drivers start working off the clock. Drivers start skipping breaks and lunch. They drive faster and cut corners on safety. Older drivers who cant keep up go to feeders or take clerk jobs if they are at a center where they can. Drivers are divided. The bonus plan can be the beginning of the end for solidarity. Drivers fight among themselves to get the fast stops. Since it is not covered in the contract, management can manipulate the route assignments and bonuses. The company can set up routes so that their favorite drivers make a big bonus, for example by adding a pickup with lots of small pieces. If youre not one of their favorites, you might get all the over-70s. Bonuses get smaller and smaller. While you are running more stops and working longer hours, the bonus keeps shrinking. If management gives you a sales pitch about making extra money in the same amount of time, ask them to put the details in writing. Will they give you a written guarantee that if you make bonus one day and do the same job the next day you will get the same bonus? Not likely. In the long run, UPS is the one that will be making extra money off of your extra work if you let your center go to the bonus plan. Dont get greedy and fall into the bonus center trap. Under Article 19, Section 10 of the Central region supplement, you can get out of the bonus plan if the majority of drivers at the center file individual grievances within a three-week period requesting the plan be terminated. Notice that they wont allow a group grievance, because they want to undermine solidarity. Its an uphill battle. Management will fight you hard and drivers who feel they are benefittting from the bonus plan will want to keep it.