"I want to be my own H&W administrator and not contribute to this crisis." Is it going to take our own skyscraper full of litigators vs theirs and theirs to figure out that after all is said and done we will need another feeder full of KY to lubricate the spin? Theres got to be a group out there willing to start rolling the ball "petitions" to quit the what the spoiler, Perot referred to as the "giant s sound". They will pay 50k to keep you from collecting 10k JMO.
If the govt is overseeing this then they are obiviously part of the problem, not the solution. (I.E. tobacco settlement where the bulk of the $ went to attorney groups, and more recently energy bill in which 80% went to corps and 20% to the environment.) Funny how it was after 83 bil went to the mid east. How about a "pension tariff" on everything out of a certain far east air hub for starters? Obviously, steel tarriffs p/oed other subsidized offshore producer areas, but 15 years too late. Look how Boeing is suffering vs Airbus. I dont have all the answers, just venting. And I need a bigger vent.
It use to p*ss me off too some years back when I hit my 25th stop and there was the Railway Express driver having coffee and complaining to one of my accounts and I about having eight stops that day instead of the usual six deliveries! I also saw him each day starting for the barn at about 3:30PM when I still had about 20 pickup stops left to complete.
A year or so later I still had a steady job but he was having coffee all day long... REA was no more. He was somewhat short of retiring when his company went bust. Don't believe he ever collected a nickel.
The first step guys is to talk it up as best you can with co-workers. There are many more like minded folks out there than you think so express your views. Once you see who these folks are then have post work union meetings in the parking lot to discuss what is going on and what some options are. I'm sure there is going to be a lot of half truths flying around from both the union and from the various TDU types who see this as nothing but a political opportunity. There are others besides TDU who politicize so I'm not picking on them exclusively. Do everything you can to check out and verify info and then spread it to other co-workers. And by all means do not promote discussions or activities on company time. Even though your motives may be in the best interest of them as well we all have jobs to do that come first.
From what I'm seeing we have a bunch of level headed folks here and just proves that most UPSers are honest, hard working folks who not only want to do the right thing but want the right thing done to them. We need to begin to hold the union and CS feet to the fire.
"A year or so later I still had a steady job but he was having coffee all day long... REA was no more. He was somewhat short of retiring when his company went bust. Don't believe he ever collected a nickel."
We had a couple of REA drivers "finish" thier carreer in our building. Something about an agreement that they had to allow them to work torwards their retirement. I can only wonder how many tapped into a retirement fund that REA no longer supported. It seems to me that a lot of this goes back to the Clinton era when the talk of National Health insurance came up. A lot of companies reduced their costs and passed it on to the employees. Thier hope was that when this national program became available, thier costs would be reduced. Program didn't happen, we all lost! Big insurance companies encourage the companies to pass the increases on to the employees. Keep the costs down by making the employees pay more. An easy out. As long as no one can group can take them on to quit raising prices and lining thier pockets, the spiral will continue. Look at how many Hospitals are building additions? I have seen some of the renovations and they look like 5 star accomadations. Why do they seem to have the money for all these renovations????? I am not defending the union or companies, just putting the blame where it should be. I an less than 2 years from retirement and am worried that my coverage is slipping away.
I would first say that you are the only person that can secure your fiscal security for your retirement. yes right now UPS has a great pension plan for us, but there is no gaurentee it will be there in the future. You must live and plan as if you will get no help when you hang it up. Live within your means, save wisely.
Many people now retired had no pension plan to look foward to, but seem to have more then enough to live on.
Well said Muncher! What you said is absolutely true but at the same time what UPS has paid in on my behalf and others has been more than enough to provide an excellent retirement. Not sure if you were around in 97' but we all heard a lot of big talk by the union about retirement and about UPS and it's greed and now here we are in 2003'. Just doesn't smell right after what was said and done.
I realy think it's about time we as UPS teamsters disinfranchise from the union and start our own union. UPSDU. UPS Drivers Union. We need to talk to the US labor dept. and petion. They are ruining our pension. Hire a Labor Attorny and get this ball rolling nation wide. Not just local and not just Central States. CS freight, Yellow, and all the other teamsters that ride on UPS's union sweat, should start fending for themselves. We as UPS drivers need to start taking care of ourselves and stop this union from giving our pension and HW beneifts away.
well said to. I had just started at UPS when the strike hit, in fact I was the last person in our building to gain seniority before 8-1-97, which got me a extra $2.50 in raises over people who got it after 8-1-97. The Pension issue was the reason for the strike, everthing tied into it, full time jobs, subcontracting. Ups lost because it underestimated the unions will to hold out, mainly because the teamsters and Carey sold the idea that a UPS controlled pension would mean less money, less benifits and eventually a end to it, in other words the would destroy it. Well here we are 7 years later and it looks like the penion plan is self-destructing on it own, controlled by teamsters. This is a bad situation for the union to be in. Look out in 2008, because the Pension issue again willl be the main issue, and this time UPS has real cause and reason to push it on the employees.
I know the popular belief even among some management folks was that UPS "lost" in the 97' strike. Some management folks think that Kelley caved in. I'm not so fast to declare that because business is a longterm game of chess. Sometimes you scarifice some pieces, even your queen, to gain advantage that leads to checkmate. IMO Carey was gonna strike UPS regardless of what they did or said. Carey was secure with UPS Teamster support but his support beyond that was questionable. He also knew he was in possible legal trouble so he needed to solidify his base of support and a strike against UPS would do that especially among the freight and carhaul ranks. UPS faced an interesting scenario in that it could go directly to UPSers with a proposal and it may just scuttle the strike but that didn't happen so plan B came into play. Let's face it, the union was in no position to match the company offer and whether it was a geneuine offer or not doesn't matter now but the fact is Carey blinked and made the promises he probably knew could not be met over time. UPS took a blackeye and busted lip but now the question must be asked. Did UPS deal a slow moving fatal blow that at the end of the day will either forever make the union a real shadow of itself or kill it entirely?
This question IMO hasn't been fully answered yet so to say that UPS lost is like saying America lost to Japan because they got beat at Pearl Harbor at the outset of the war. The jury ain't in on this deal yet.
All the above JMO.
Wkmac I'd swear you were reading my mind.I've wondered the same thing.Carey and the Teamsters won the battle of public opinion in '97 and he knew UPS could only hold out so long or the company would be out of bussiness.But in "winning" the battle,he may have cost the hourly workers the war.I read on the Teamsters website a letter that Hoffa has addressed to Eskew trying to paint the CEO into a corner claiming he's backing out on a promise to help shore up these rotten tomatoe multi-employer funds.Well,we've all seen since '97 what happens when UPS feels it's stuck paying for other companies retirees.That's right-less new equipment-12hour dispatches-no new hires in years.
The company was willing to pay exit-fees of almost $750 million to get out of those pension funds for many reasons in '97,whether drivers accept the reasons or not.And if UPS gets hit with the bill again for what it may take to clean up IBT's mess,you all can bet the stop count target for your route will increase in proportion to what the boardroom in Atlanta feels like they got hi-jacked for.
Decertifying a union is not an easy task and then you also have the uncertainity of the "what if" after the union is gone. If you seek to change will the company recognize the new union or will they have a bad taste after the Teamsters and just say no way. You could also end up where you decertify for example in one area only and no where else. Then the company could throw out the red carpet in an effort to show everyone else the new union is better than the Teamsters. This would pit union verses union and I'm not sure where this would lead.
There is a lot I don't like just as you do but I think for economy of energy it's best at this point to try and correct the current situation within the Teamsters itself. No, I never said it was easy but verses the fight of decertification and then to build a new union it would be wiser to try and fix the current mess rather than run from it. If it becomes apparent the situation can't be fixed then we can cross that bridge when we get there. It just boils down to the simple fact that we, including myself here, are going to have to be more active in local union issues in order to start correcting this mess.
I thought that statement was very telling myself. I would agree that there was the perfect storm scenario as Hoffa said but had there been better management of the entire process in the prior years the effects may not have been as severe as we find them now.
What I find ironic if the CS pension fund is such a good deal and is managed so great as some would have us believe then instead of the 401k plan why not set the fund up so members can make extra contributions which entitle them to extra ordinary benefits when they retire? This potential influx of funds could have investment earnings to help now with the capital assets secure for tomorrow. If the fund was run in such a way as to earn our respect and trust then maybe members might be willing to pay some extra out of pocket and help the current situation to the positive side. Just placing the perverbal gun to the heads of employers IMO is not the answer. The solution lay across the board rather than in one person's lap.
Many have been worried in the past about UPS having control of our pension, well I for one would love to be a fly on the wall when Hoffa comes a calling to Mr. Eskew to hear what Eskew tells Hoffa must happen before UPS will make the bailout process an easy one. IMO UPS is holding a bunker buster to the Teamsters stick with a very dull end. Like I said earlier, UPS may have won this war afterall. We'll see going forward I guess because the unknown varible here is that the courts are also involved and there's no telling in what direction these folks could take this thing.
I agree about being our own H & W adminstrator. I like your thinking so keep talking because at the end of the day I do believe that is the solution to the entire problem. I will tell you this, we are probably a very lonely minority on this. LOL!
When we struck in 97, there were a hand full of us fairly new drivers that were not "opposed" to the "company"(UPS) taking over the pension fund. For many of the same reasons that a lot of you guys have mentioned in your posts. We were laughed at by most of the older drivers and "hardnosed" union members. Funny how most of those same older drivers are the ones crying and complaining now. I told one of them this morning, "I told ya so in 97". As I see it, this could be the beginning of the end for many of the UPS TEAMSTERS members. I'm allready trying to figure out what I'm going to do with my $60 dues each month, Maybe I'll buy more UPS SHARES LOL!
The one thing I think it shows is there are still some underlying problems with the current pension system that were not addressed and fixed in 97. The pension discussion quickly turned into a p_ssing contest and killed any legitimate debate on the subject. there is a lot of money going into that fund on your behalf. You would think the plan would do a lot better than it has. As I look at it I'm by no means an investment guru. I do know from managing my own 401 K investments that you take certain precautions to protect your investment when the market sours. While I didn't gain much during the past 3 years I did at least tread water by getting out of the riskier investments and rolling my money into the bond market or more stable government options. It appears central states stayed long when the market dived. I wonder then just how flexible this plan is to make the adjustments it needs to make as the market changes.
I was one of the few "old timers" that was in favor of UPS taking over the pension fund. I had to take a lot of grief, because I supposedly knew better... What amazes me now, is the fact that there are people who are still against the company taking it over--On the basis that they will reduce our benefits!