Hoffa Uses Mystery Math to Sell Tentative Agreement UPS Teamsters deserve the straight story, and a fair and informed vote on the contract. They dont deserve baloney, PR or mystery math. We call on the International Union to treat all our hard working UPS Teamsters with the respect they deserve. In any event, TDU will take positive action to get factual information to all members, so they can make up their own minds. In this whole contract process, we have seen a lack of information (known to members as the brown out) and more hype than factual information. Now we are getting mystery math. Here are two important examples: Mystery Math #1. Hoffa has claimed the tentative agreement would close the wage gap between part time and full time Teamsters employed at UPS. Actually, this agreement would dramatically widen this wage gap. At present the starting wage for UPS part timers is $8.50. Because of high turnover, most part-timers have very low seniority. The average wage of part-timers at present is $10.70, according to the company, while the average wage of full time drivers is about $23. Under this agreement, the base wage would go up only 50c over six years, so that UPS will be hiring part timers in 2008 at $8.50 an hour and after 90 days there would reach $9 per hour. There seems little doubt that by 2008 McDonalds, Burger King and other low wage employers will be paying more than $9 per hour. They already do in some areas of the country. Thus some 150,000 Teamsters employed as part timers in 2008 could be working for wages below McDonalds. More importantly, they would be making less than workers at FedEx, which has to be a major organizing target for our union. The average part-time wage, under the tentative agreement, would go up about 50c, to about $11.20 in 2008. The average full-time wage at that time would be $28. The existing part-time workers will get a boost in their wage increases, as they did in the previous contract, but due to high turnover this will have virtually no impact on the wage gap or the average part-time wage in the future. Thus the wage gap would dramatically widen, with part time labor being the majority of the estimated 272,000 Teamsters who will be at UPS by 2008, and making far less than half the hourly wage of full-timers. This is a dangerous situation for the future of our union. Mystery Math #2. Hoffa has claimed that this contract will cost the company $9 billion, thus it is twice as rich as the 1997 contract. Actually, this comparison is based on faulty math. It is worth no more at all. Consider three simple facts: The contract is six years instead of five. To compare, we need to multiple by 83% (5/6). This contract is five years later, with inflation of 15% since then. To compare, we will need to multiply by 85%. This contract covers 25% more workers, due to growth of the company. To compare, we will need to multiply by 75%. Once we multiply 83% x 85% x 75% x $9 billion, we get $4.7 billion, roughly half as much as Hoffas Mystery Math figure. We urge Teamsters to study the contract, not the press releases.