Increasing Union Membership = Strength, Security, Stronger Bargaining Agreements

Discussion in 'UPS Union Issues' started by InsideUPS, May 10, 2013.

  1. InsideUPS

    InsideUPS Active Member

    The growth, strength, and future of our Union (IBT) depends on increased membership and interest in organized labor. I for one do not want to see a day when our labor organizations become so weakened that they fail to be effective at the bargaining table or even to exist at all. The continued attack on organized labor is upon us as evidenced by the state of Michigan becoming a Right To Work state.

    The first and most obvious method of increasing Union membership is to organize non-Union companies such as FedEx. Organizing FedEx would be a tremendous victory for both UPS and UPS Teamsters. Even though there are a number of hurdles in accomplishing this seemingly impossible task, I believe we as members of the IBT should do everything in our collective power to insure that this eventually happens. Fred Smith should not be allowed to be sleep soundly for one moment.......feeling that his precious company will never become part of the Union.

    Each and every driver comes into contact with companies that are not part of a Union. Just like turning in "sales leads" for UPS, these same drivers could turn in "Union Leads" to their Local Business Agents.... and of course be compensated for their efforts.... (no union dues for x amount of months for example)

    A second method which I believe could be used in Right To Work (for less) states would be to lower or eliminate initiation fees. In addition, Union dues could be lowered for a given amount of order to introduce them to the Union. I believe we must give INCENTIVE for being in the Union in these RTW states. As I had mentioned in a different thread, I believe that initiation fees for part-time should be eliminated entirely. In my experience watching part-time opening their first set checks.....these initiation fees reduce there checks to near zero for weeks..... Joining the Union should be a POSITIVE experience....especially for brand new employees. Having the Union take their entire check is NOT a good way to introduce new employees to organized labor (not to mention what their parents think and say).....

    Our negotiators are only as strong as we enable them to be. They cannot do it alone. Our Union must evolve and change to be a positive organization in today's increasingly anti-union society. We need GOOD PR....and we need it soon. Old methods and ideas will NOT survive in today's information age of technology. We should take advantage of young progressive ideas that are part of our Union today... The person that comes to my mind is PiedmontSteward..... I hope to see him someday as part of our Union leadership....
  2. PiedmontSteward

    PiedmontSteward RTW-4-Less

    In historically RTW states, getting a new hire to sign a card is already an uphill battle. And in closed shop states, getting dinged with initiation fees certainly doesn't make new members happy. Initiation fees should be waived for all UPS part-timers nationwide, period. My local (RTW state) waives initiation fees and sets dues at 2x the hourly rate for all members making less than $11.00/hr, with dues going up to 2.5x the hourly rate for members making over that amount. This is done out of necessity but it's also the right thing to do.

    The FedEx Couriers are going to have to get something together - on their own - in order to organize under the RLA before the IBT would even consider stepping in. But FedEx Ground operates under the NLRA - we can't organize the 1099 classified FedEx Ground drivers under Fred Smith's independent contractor scam, but we sure as hell can organize the FedEx Ground hubs and sorting facilities one-by-one until we have enough leverage to force him to the bargaining table by threatening to shut down his Ground network. Quite frankly, this is going to be a matter of survival over the next decade or so from a labor-cost and competition perspective.

    If you want some foreshadowing, just look at unionized freight companies (ABF, YRC) trying to compete against so-called "independent operators" and non-union carriers (Con-way, Old Dominion, etc.) from the 1980's through present day.
  3. PobreCarlos

    PobreCarlos New Member

    I heard a Teamster honcho claim almost thirty-five years ago (at the time UPS was initiating the second phase of its Germany expansion) that FedEx (and I'm paraphrasing here) "would be organized in a matter of months". However, I don't see that company any closer to being organized today than it was thirty-five years ago. Meanwhile, the Teamsters are off raiding other unions in an attempt to "organize" the already organized, while giving FedEx yet another bye ( Teamsters bring turbulence to airline deal - The Deal Pipeline (SAMPLE CONTENT: NEED AN ID?)

    Just don't see it as likely to happen anymore. In the face of competition, I'm afraid the UPS Teamsters are probably going to have to stand alone for the whole count.
  4. PiedmontSteward

    PiedmontSteward RTW-4-Less

    The IBT made a serious attempt at organizing FedEx in either the mid-or-late 1990's. But Fred Smith was able to get his Railway Labor Act (RLA) exemption slipped through by Congress in the middle of the organizing drive and the Teamsters pulled out. Under the RLA, Federal Express would have to be organized in a nationwide vote which would be nigh-impossible. Conventional organizing tactics would have a union organize each job site/terminal/station/hub, one-by-one, until they have enough leverage to strike and shut the entire company down or simply force the company to the negotiating table to hammer out a contract.

    Smith's RLA exemption was almost removed back in 2007/08, but he threatened to pull the orders for roughly a dozen Boeing 747's and Congress caved.
  5. PobreCarlos

    PobreCarlos New Member


    Except for possibly a very short period of time, I believe FedEx (later Express) has been under the auspices of the Railway Act since its inception. I know it was in the late 70's and 80's. Reference....

    Why FedEx Express Is Covered by the Railway Labor Act: An "Historical Anomaly"

    ....among other sources that can be Googled.

    Also, it might be worth noting that the airlines whose unions the Teamsters are trying to "raid" now are ALSO under the Railway Act. To me, it's somewhat ironic that the union is expending effort to "re-organize" the already-organized in lieu of pursuing the one entity that is eating the bulk of its lunch.
  6. DriveInDriveOut

    DriveInDriveOut This Is The Last Stop

    If they started with the Memphis hub, wouldn't they have a huge amount of leverage? Just a thought.