i want my life back

Discussion in 'UPS Discussions' started by scoobypanda, Apr 1, 2010.

  1. scoobypanda

    scoobypanda Active Member

    reprinted with permission from packagecarunion.com
    I want my life back.
    I am a proud UPSer. I am the face of one of the most successful companies in the history of the planet. I am a proud Teamster, working at one of the largest union employers in the world. I have no interest in working for an anti-labor CEO like Fred Smith. I believe strongly in UPS and in unionism. UPS is a top corporate citizen and the “World’s most admired” delivery company. Organized labor and the Teamsters began in order to combat workplace abuses. Workers did excessive overtime and did not get to see their families. There was no safety in the workplace, endangering the workers, and there was favoritism and harassment.
    One of the basic tenets for all labor agreements is the principle of “a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay”. We have strayed too far from that principle, and I want my life back.
    Our National Master Agreement contains language that states: “Employer shall make reasonable effort to reduce package car drivers’ workdays below 9.5 hours per day”. It does not say “paid day” or “planned day”. It says “workday”. Punch in to punch out is my work day. When people discuss their typical workday, it’s 9 to 5, not 9 to 2 and 3 to 5. People don’t work 35 hours a week plus 5 hours in breaks, they work a 40 hour week. Paid or not, breaks are part of the workday.
    Lunch and breaks are unpaid. Unpaid is not the same as off the job. We are told the parameters in which we are allowed to take our breaks, and there have even been several instances where UPS management tried to instruct employees exactly when to take their break. We are told that we are allowed no more than a mile off-route. We are still representing the company and still accountable for our actions. We can’t fight with or insult the customers simply because we are not being paid. We are still responsible for the vehicle, diad, equipment, and cargo. If we fall down and get hurt during lunch, we are still covered by Worker’s Compensation. When the NY state DOT instituted it’s 14 hour rule, they specifically included break time, punch in to punch out. By law and contract we have to take our breaks.
    The 40 hour week is the basis for the contract language contained in Article 3 of our Supplemental Agreement. “The basic workweek should be 40 hours, consisting of 8 hours per day, 5 days per week. Employees may be required to work overtime”. If we work 40 hours in 4 days, we have met our commitment. If that is the case, Friday should be an optional workday. The contract mentions mandatory overtime at times, our building is operating with a plan of 9.2 hours on road. This translates to 1 ½ to 2 hours of mandatory overtime daily. They further exacerbate this by exceeding their own excessive standard, with drivers often punching out after 12 hours.
    Our Local Sort starts at 6 o’clock, with a 3 ½ hour guarantee. With the vast majority of drivers returning after 7 o’clock, how can the Local Sort turn the work around for the outbound trailers? Drivers returning at 6:30, which is an actual 9 ½ hour workday, makes more sense and meshes with the Local Sort operation.
    Overtime excesses rob the Union of both pension contributions, and jobs. Each center does roughly 100 overtime hours per day, sometimes while laying off drivers. UPS should be honoring their commitments and the Union should be demanding jobs. A “scheduled off” day does not contribute a pension credit. Excessive overtime tires out the drivers and limits the need for a 5th day’s pay. When the guys try to take off to allow the laid off drivers to work, we are trying to help our union brothers, and in fact we are helping to screw them. The Teamsters promote organizing to create more Teamster jobs. These Teamster jobs are right here. The excessive overtime is cutting out at least 8 full-time jobs in each center. As one of America’s top corporate citizens UPS has a responsibility to the public to try and create jobs. During this “global economic meltdown”, UPS made 2 billion dollars profit. Rather than helping to stimulate the economy by creating jobs, UPS chooses to reduce staffing and asks us to contribute more for our medical coverage and take a reduction in pension benefits. I want UPS to be successful, but UPS needs to share the success with the people that helped bring it.
    We are not meeting customer expectations or our commitment to our customers. We guarantee the day of delivery and we do a good job of meeting expectations for our commercial stops, delivering by 5 o’clock, which is considered normal business hours. After the majority of workers have headed home, we are delivering our residential stops. People are having dinner, getting the kids ready for bed, winding down their day, and we are leaving boxes at their door. If we don’t make delivery by 6:30, we didn’t really meet our obligation.
    Increases in overtime lead to more injuries and accidents. OSHA lists rushing, fatigue, and frustration as the top three causes of injuries and accidents. A typical day for one of my closest friends at work consists of waking at 6, followed by a shower, shave, getting the uniform ready, breakfast, then a 1 ½ hour drive to work. Through the guard booth, inside and upstairs to the locker room, then down to the pcm. Work until 7:30 or 8, back to locker room, then drive home. Dinner at 9:30, not considered healthy dinner time. The kids are in bed and the wife is exhausted from working her job and taking care of everything at home. Bed at 11:00, too late for a healthy 8 hours of sleep, and start all over again the next morning. Doing this for the month of December is understandable. Doing this as a way of life is unconscionable.
    The growing frustration can be felt throughout UPS and the Locals. Forums and message boards across the country are full of these stories. Some Locals have even taken to renting planes to carry flyover messages and billboards to promote their mounting displeasure.
    When unions began, workplace abuses were rampant. We created safety in the workplace and now it’s been stolen and used as a tool for harassment. I work to live, I don’t live to work. I want a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work. I don’t want my family life or my health destroyed. I want my life back.
  2. DS

    DS Fenderbender

    We had a teamsters meeting awhile back and when someone brought this up,our business agent said he had 3 drivers with the same concern.When the grievances were all won and each driver had straight 8.5 hr days,all complained they were having problems paying bills and wanted their OT back.You gotta watch out what you wish for.
  3. rod

    rod retired and happy

    I realize the hours keep getting longer but UPS has never (at least from 1971 to 2001) been a job where you could rely on having much family time during the week. I could count on one hand the actual 8 hour days I had as a delivery driver for 30 years. It was always anywhere from 9 to 10+ hours a day except for peak- then you could count on running out of hours. Now I guess the guys at my old center are working anywhere from 10 to 11+ a day. That I will admit is excessive.
  4. Insincerity

    Insincerity I'm Insincere

    Every person has to make that choice at some point in their life when the job becomes detrimental to their being.
    No job is worth being miserable and stressed out - the job is killing you at that point.
    If you are miserable at your job, you owe it to yourself to look elsewhere or change your outlook towards your job.
    As the quote said "I work to live, I don’t live to work." Very sage words.
    UPS is simply a place you come to and trade your time and effort for money. Nothing more.
    It is up to the individual to make the job a positive experience or not.
    Looking towards external sources to make this change for you is fruitless. You must look within yourself.

    Last edited: Apr 1, 2010
  5. MonavieLeaker

    MonavieLeaker Bringin Teh_Lulz

  6. Anonymous 10

    Anonymous 10 Guest

    Was it for this my life I sought.
  7. Bubblehead

    Bubblehead My Senior Picture

    Here we go again.
    Woe is me, I didn't see the oppression coming.
    Nor am I willing to do anything, aside from writing a scorching internet essay, to change my circumstances.
    Didn't see anything in there about failed 9.5 grievances.
    Nothing about how they chose this profession, despite their Masters degree in engineering.
    I'm mean... really, what percentage of the work force truly works from 9 to 5 and makes the money we do.
    It's not that I don't relate with the author of this post.
    My problem is more with culture of our present day work place.
    You want to know what the problem really is?
    I'll tell you.
    We, the UPS Teamsters that I know, have forgotten what it means to be a union.
    I'm not just talking about the leadership on the local and national level.
    I'm talking about all of us front line whiners.
    We all bitch and moan as individuals, but rarely do we flex our collective will or convictions.
    That is were our power to change things exists.
    Until we all get our heads out of our own backsides, and see things for the greater good, rather than own personal preferences, we will continue to get our asses handed to us.
    This essay tugs at your heart strings and induces self pity.
    It outlines all of the symptoms, addresses none of the root causes, nor does it suggest how cure the problems.
    You want your life back, join with others that feel as you do and take it back.
    Until then, we'll continue to get more of the same.
  8. Monkey Butt

    Monkey Butt Dark Prince of Double Standards Staff Member

    Please reply on this thread too:
  9. bumped

    bumped Well-Known Member

    The problem is you can't make everyone happy. My business agent has in the past that when negotiation times come there are many laid off feeder drivers that want to work. They want the hours of operation to drop below the 60 hours per week rule. There are just as many feeder drivers that tell him that they want the hours of operation to be left alone. They want every 60 hours they can get. Everyone can't be happy.
  10. scoobypanda

    scoobypanda Active Member

    There are points in the post that i believe people are missing. I like overtime. I am used to overtime over my 17 year career. Overtime pays for my greens fees. The problem that myself and the original author have is the fact that UPS now is insisting on 9.2 planned on road. What that translates to is a roughly 12 hour workday and that is excessive. The bigger problem is that this new mandatory excessive overtime is suppressing jobs, Teamster jobs. Reducing overtime to "normal" UPS levels of 2 or 3 years ago could create roughly 30,000 full-time jobs when people are struggling to find work all over the country. We are getting beat up to improve stock dividends for strangers. I have 4 pending 9.5 grievances and I am still expecting another overdispatched day tomorrow. I will do the work and I will play golf next week with the extra money UPS gives me, but I won't sit on my hands and not point out when the company fails to bargain in good faith, refuses to follow a mutually agreed to binding contract and still applauds itself as a "top corporate citizen".
  11. Jones

    Jones fILE A GRIEVE! Staff Member

    Do your job and keep filing. Once they have to start paying you triple time that dispatch problem will clear right up.
    The ox is slow but the earth is patient.
  12. Monkey Butt

    Monkey Butt Dark Prince of Double Standards Staff Member

    These strangers are stockholders and they own the company.
    UPS is no longer a privately owned company owned by it's management.
  13. 705red

    705red Browncafe Steward

    And that is why in 2002 we added 9.5 and 8 hour language. So we can make occasional family functions. Bring down the worked day, to add more routes so drivers do not get injured from fatigue. Back thna you would see the sups there in the morning and when you got back to the building, not anymore. They are the first ones gone and at a decent hour also.
    How come the worked days have gone up since we received language to bring them down?
  14. local804

    local804 Well-Known Member

    Great first post Scooby
  15. local804

    local804 Well-Known Member

    And now through (DRIP) and (DESPP) we are all part of the huge puzzle.
  16. local804

    local804 Well-Known Member

    I think its a little absurd for a twenty year veteran to look elsewhere for a job when a legitimate concern is brought up.
  17. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    ...although with only a 5% discount not as big of a part as we could be.
  18. Blizzard

    Blizzard New Member

    awesome post!
  19. upssup

    upssup New Member

    Once again,
    If you do not like the hours, the conditions, the cold, the heat, the old cars, the whatever, QUIT!
  20. Insincerity

    Insincerity I'm Insincere

    and if enough people do that and that increased cost of turnover is cost prohibitive, then UPS will change the conditions
    the people that quit will most likely be happier (but not necessarily)