Just curious... how irreplaceable do you think we are here, in case of a strike??

Discussion in 'UPS Union Issues' started by brown_trousers, Sep 3, 2012.

  1. brown_trousers

    brown_trousers Active Member

    Not that I think it would come down to a strike, but I wonder how much weight it would hold to threaten a strike against UPS. After reading about Catipillar's complete failure of a strike, I wonder if UPS could afford to do the same to us?

    It seems to me that we have a HUGE advantage with our market the way it is. Almost to big of an advantage in that a strike would cost UPS a ridiculous amount of money and market share, compared to just giving us what we want in a contract.

    What are your thoughts????
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2012
  2. anonymous4

    anonymous4 Active Member

    I think they have more to lose than we do, although we would all lose something. I think it is comical how so many of you feel a strike needs to be completely off the table. Sorry, but if you feel that way, you need to get out of the union. That last action needs to ALWAYS be an option for us, knowing full well a strike is far from optimal, and understanding what it could mean for both sides. We need things changed right now or there might not be an option for us to strike in the coming contracts. We are going to pass along a very weak union for future generations to clean up if it isn't done right now. To me, something like two tier wages, discipline on performance/through telemantics and a few others MUST BE deal breakers or we strike and accept the consequences of that choice.

    To answer your question, I think the same reason people come here to bitch and moan will also be the same reason they can't afford to let us strike. If you all truly believe a strike can't happen, we can't call their bluff and we can slowly let everything be taken from us. It won't be easy to replace 300,000 workers of our caliber. What is the first thing people will try to tell you? Your labor is unskilled and you are easily replaceable. Sure, I can tell you as a fact even on the inside, the operation wouldn't be as efficient for MONTHS with a new work force. Can you train a loader/unloader/sorter/pickoff in two weeks? Yes, and they will not be up to UPS standards for MONTHS, FACT. Drivers? How long would it take to have an entire new roster of drivers as efficient as the current lot? You just can't replace the SKILL SET that many of us have after so many years. Too many intangibles, with the way UPS needs production, you aren't going to have near the same numbers for a LONG time. Who must we keep a keen eye out for? People like UpstateNYUPSer, who would give everything away and sell you out over a false premonition. They have a vote but we must not let them infect others with their spew. You don't make bold statements like "without a two tier pay structure we will go under". Show me the proof, it is on you that such a thing needs to be considered with the way things are currently. Consistent raises with no concessions are the name of the game right now. Nothing less.

    Do the teamsters and UPS need to get their :censored2::censored2::censored2::censored2: together and figure out the fedex situation? Yes, that is one of the top things we should be concerned about, but talk of necessary concessions on our part is nothing more than an ill agenda being pushed. It is so obvious it is sickening.
  3. brown_trousers

    brown_trousers Active Member

    Liquid Swords, I completely agree. When it comes down to the bottom line, a strike is the only real negotiating tool we have. But the Teamsters seem scared stupid to even mention the "s" word.

    When comparing us to other unionized workforces out there, it really does seem like we are in a much better position to wield the threat of a strike. We have many advantages to our situation that other unions don't. ie..

    -UPS can't outsource our work to china
    -Our strike would not be localized, it would be nationwide
    -FedEx would capitalize greatly from a strike by stealing some of our customer base
    -replacing 300,000+ workers all at the same time would be a financial disaster for UPS and the service commitments we provide to our customers

    It really does seem like the cards would be stacked in our favor!
  4. anonymous4

    anonymous4 Active Member

    YES, but there are men and women with YEARS of study put into psychology, that can use the most basic psyops to sway and divide us on sites like this, in the work place and through infiltration of our very own union. They will make the majority believe we can be replaced at the drop of a hat, a strike is not an option, and we should therefore take what is given. Believe it.

    Yet no real reason to even open the glass on the panic button is out there today. Big changes we must be smart about are necessary for our future, yes. The reality is far from the DAMAGING things UpstateNYUPSer pushes. He is at best treasonous to our union. You don't say the things he does and show your face as a teamster. You are not a brother. A huge wake up call needs to happen and I am not currently sure how or if it will. IT is critical we stand up for ourselves and each other, including future UPS teamsters. We know what we put up with and how valuable we are, so act like it weaklings.

    When our supervisors work, we make fun of them (friendly, surprisingly it isn't always PT sups vs workers. A lot are ringers themselves for our work RIGHT NOW!). With that said, 80% of them are still months of loading, sorting and unloading away from being 80% as efficient as us useless, terrible, lazy union workers.

    This recent production push is a definite double edged sword for UPS the company. We are less replaceable right now than we have ever been, in my opinion.
    Lasted edited by : Sep 3, 2012
  5. PobreCarlos

    PobreCarlos New Member

    A couple of points:

    1. First, in a sense, UPS has already "outsourced" a lot of the the work. With the aquisition of TNT, I suspect the company today, even without the domestic operations, isn't all that far from the size of the entire company at the time of the '97 strike. The company has a much broader field of revenue generation beyond the control of the Teamsters than there was the last go-round (and I don't think that's just coincidental, either)

    2. If UPS decided to "hard line" it (and I'm not saying or suggesting that they would), while the strike might be national, the response would likely be regional; i.e. - the workforce would be replaced center by center, division by division, district by district, region by region as the available trainers (mgmt?) incrementally brought a new labor force online. If the union went out on strike nationally, it pretty much would relinquish that option for itself....it would be all or nothing. "Yes", a lot of business would be lost to the company that way...but if you end-up with a non-Teamster workforce, the resulting smaller business might (again, I'm saying "might") be more profitable that the previous larger "union" one. And remember..."profit" is the name of the game, not the size of the business. Plus, it would have the potential to be much more competitive with FedEx and other entities as well. Remember, if UPS went out on strike, FedEx wouldn't be able to absorb all the extra volume either, while UPS would at least have its capital structure (buildings and equipment) in place, while FedEx would have to acquire it. Plus Airborne and DHL aren't in play like they were 15 years ago, either. From all that, I'm guessing that UPS would probably be able to rather quickly (and by "rather quickly", I'm still talking a period of years) get a lot of its business back, albeit there most assuredly being a lost of some.

    3. I'm not sure how long 300,000+ workers would remain out on strike. Remember, a substantial portion of that 300,000 aren't actual Teamster members to begin with. And many of the p/t'ers could be replaced with a simple wage boost...something that wouldn't be all that unlikely if a corresponding f/t decrease was in the offing. Beyond that, I remember that i '97 there were hourly getting quite edgy after only three weeks....and that, in response, the union "blinked" with the CSPF offer. With the economy as it is today, how long could the line be effectively held?

    Again, just consideration points, and I'm not stating or even implying that they'll come into play. But I am suggesting that it's a possibility
  6. BigUnionGuy

    BigUnionGuy Got the T-Shirt

    You're right about that. It's easy to get rid of "do nothing non-union" management people.

    They go the way of the dodo bird.... While we are still here.... making everyone money.

    It must be a slow day.... for you to come here and pontificate your usual anti-union BS.

    Whats wrong ?? Nobody @ teamster.net will play with you anymore ??

  7. bmwmc

    bmwmc Active Member

    1, The union would never allow a strike where the company could regenerate piece by piece. It would be national or nothing. Your forgetting the pilots honoring the strike.

    2, As for a new and smaller non-union company; your forgetting cash flow. UPS has bonds to pay off as well as investors via dividends. Taking down there market share as well as the value of there equity would spell doom for there balance sheet and credit line.

    3. Have you seen FEDEx ground drivers? Do you know what kind of turn over they have? UPS driver do the work of 3 FEDEX employees in 3 trucks verses 1 driver and 1 vehicle for UPS. Do you really think they want that model?

    No UPS is more afraid of a strike than the Teamsters, but, the Teamsters need a company that is very successful and profitable. So, its a marriage made in heaven.
  8. Monkey Butt

    Monkey Butt Dark Prince of Double Standards Staff Member

    Based on what drivers post on here, it is more like a marriage made in Hell. Just an observation.

    PS . I agree with you more so than Pobre.

    UPS may be non-Union at some point but not at this time.
  9. DS

    DS Fenderbender

    That's mostly because ups can't figure out that one set of rules for everyone would cause less problems.
    After 110 years they can't produce a policy book that sets a precedent in all situations.
    Failing to follow instructions is a good one.In Utah you forget a call tag and get a talking to,in New Jersey,you get
    fired for it.It's time to fix this.Letting ignorant pt sups make important decisions hurts everyone.
  10. Monkey Butt

    Monkey Butt Dark Prince of Double Standards Staff Member

    The reason that the Policy Book or any other set of rules does not exist is because if it did, UPS would not exist.

    Fortunately, UPS management is more than smart enough to realize that having a set of rules that is applied the same to everyone in every situation would be incredibly ... well, not so smart.

    Ignorant sups need to made aware and coached in what is the best decision for a given situation.

    GOD I love Double Standards!
  11. TechGrrl

    TechGrrl Space Cadet

    I'm going to repeat myself here.

    IF President Obama is re-elected, THEN the 2013 contract is negotiated fairly easily, although the company WILL attempt to put some of the cost of healthcare on the employee. (They've been squeezing this out of management for the last several years, so there is no more blood in that turnip.) They will spend a lot of time talking about non-union competition pricing us out of a lot of markets. (They are right, BTW, so some flexibility in this area would probably be a good idea. It would be nice if some creative cooperation between the company and the union figured out a way to compete with FedEx and other non-union carriers.)

    On the other hand,
    IF Mitt Romney is elected, THEN you guys are screwed. With a hard-right administration in control, the company may very well go all-in, even taking a strike to cripple the union. Doubt me? You mentioned what Caterpillar just did to its employees. Cat made no bones about it; they are profitable, they are solid, everything is looking good for them. Didn't matter. They were going to squeeze the troops and make more profits, and they did.

    The Teamsters won in 1997 because Bill Clinton's Labor Department was sympathetic to, like, actual labor, not the corporatocracy. That won't happen in a Romney administration. The Romney Labor Department will be working out of the ALEC playbook, where "RIGHT TO WORK" is paragraph 1. Not to mention the economy is totally different this time around. Last time, customers equated "UPS" to "my really nice driver". This time around, it will be, "Why should my rates go up to pay this guy $38 an hour? My customers won't pay my prices now." Last time around, the company was completely naive as to the PR aspects of selling a strike. This time around, they won't be. They have too many examples of how to paint the evil, greedy, lazy, union thugs as destroying the job creators.

    -AND- let's not forget how technology has made it MUCH easier for non-trained people to do even the delivery driver job. Just follow the DIAD, dude! Staffing the hubs would be a piece of cake. Pay the scabs $12 an hour, no benefits, and see how many people line up, picket lines or no picket lines. Use a temp staffing outfit, and call back retired management to run the hubs and preloads and so on, so the younger ones can all go on-car. I have friends that work as temp managers of the helpers at Christmas; they work for the temp staffing outfit, not UPS.

    If Karl Rove and the Koch Brothers can make believable "thugs" out of kindergarten teachers, imagine how much easier it will be when the word "Teamsters" is in play. Get used to the phrases "gold-plated benefits" and "outrageous pensions for early retirement", because you will be hearing them a lot.

    At this point, you guys are about the last well-paid union jobs with benefits left out there in the private sector. You can't be outsourced to China, so you have to be brought to heel some other way.

    By all means, vote for Mitt Romney and the local TEA Party congresscritter. Then kiss your pay and benefits goodbye.

    I'm not suggesting this is fair, or ethical. I think it stinks. I also think it will happen, because too many working people just can't figure out how the right wing is screwing them. I don't want my niece and nephew, and their kids, growing up as corporate serfs. But that is where this country is headed: a corporate plutocracy where the 1/10th of 1% take it all, and we get the 'tinkle down' from the 'job creators'. Bah...

    Corporate profits and the stock market are at all time highs, the tax burden on millionaires and the corporations are at an all time low. Yet, people complain because unemployment is still high. Guess what? TRICKLE DOWN economics doesn't work!
  12. oldupsman

    oldupsman Well-Known Member

    Simple answer to your question. Anybody can be replaced. And I think you might be surprised how many of your fellow employees
    across the nation want nothing to do with a strike. You think guys in Tenn. are unhappy making 30 bucks an hour.
  13. oldupsman

    oldupsman Well-Known Member

    TechGirl could you please tell me what we won in 1997. And I'm not being sarcastic. I really don't remember what changed from the initial
    offer to the final offer. I don't remember any changes.
  14. Brownslave688

    Brownslave688 You want a toe? I can get you a toe.

    LOL whoever is elected president will have very little to do with how our contract is negotiated. Oh and I wouldn't exactly call a president who gave universal healthcare to his state while he was governor "far right"
  15. PobreCarlos

    PobreCarlos New Member


    1. My point was that the union WOULD maintain a national strike...but that doesn't mean that the company has to react nationally and/or instantaneously. Replacements - including pilots (by way of example, you might take a look at web sites like the "Airline Pilots Central Forum" to review the possibilities there) - could be hired incrementally, area by area. I.e. - there's no law that say UPS has replace everybody all at once. Look at how new regions and/or countries have been brought into the system. Do you think they were all brought online overnight?

    2. In terms of cash flow, I'm not forgetting that prospect at all. Again, revenue may not be reduced RELATIVELY all that much...and profit (proportionately, at least) might be reduced even less. And, from the perspective of "cash flow", I suspect UPS is in a lot better "cash flow" position than the union, or the vast majority of the unions members it employees. Look at what UPS paid to withdraw from Central States. If it was able to maintain foreign operations, that same amount could finance the company for a year easily. And, if it involved the prospect of "breaking" the Teamsters, I think the company could line up parties willing to finance such a proposition rather easily; in fact, they might be standing in line for that purpose. Meanwhile, would Teamsters stay out that long? Or, more to the point COULD they stay out that long? How about the one-third or so domestic employees who are not actual Teamster members? Would they stay out that long as well? I suggest you currently look at places like American Crystal Sugar or in the past (and closer to home in terms of the Teamsters) Diamond Walnut to see what COULD happen (again, I'm NOT saying it "will" happen!)

    3. "Yes", I have seen FedEx ground drivers. For all your claims that a "UPS driver do[sic] the work of of 3 FEDEX employees...", the truth is that they achieving revenue and profit margins with employee numbers that belie such claims. As for "want[ing] that model", has it ever dawned on anybody that, if offered the opportunity to PERMANENTLY replace their Teamster brethren, FedEx drivers - both "Ground" AND "Express" - might be willing to jump ship for what UPS offers? Would that change things overnight? No....probably not; but it sure would be a consideration, particularly for those on the line who are farther down the seniority list who would be watching their jobs disappear.

    Lastly, you may be right about UPS being "more afraid of a strike than the Teamsters". Personally, I don't see it. If anything, the Teamsters are more dependent on UPS today than they were 15 years ago...while UPS has taken great strides toward becoming less dependent on utilizing Teamster employees. Do I think there will be a strike? No. Do I think if there is one that UPS will follow the POSSIBLE path I outlined? Truthfully, "no"....but I do see it as a POSSIBLE ultimate option. And I would think that, for union members to not view it that way, would be very short-sighted.
  16. PobreCarlos

    PobreCarlos New Member


    From my perspective, the short answer is that the Teamsters were able to temporarily retain UPS in Central States...albeit by virtue of a "bribe" in the form of rebated contributions. And, ultimately, that wasn't a "win" either; UPS eventually withdrew from CSPF anyway, although at a higher cost to both the company and its employee pension participants. In truth, the UPS members of the union would have probably been better off (even without considering the 3 weeks pay lost) if they had accepted the initial offer. If nothing else, many of their pensions would have been more secure. And I've little doubt that there would have been more f/t jobs available today; FedEx (and its employees) was able to eat a lot of future Teamster lunch as a result of that strike.
  17. 104Feeder

    104Feeder Phoenix Feeder

    Yes Pobre speaks the truth! If we had accepted the initial offer, I could be enjoying a $3,500/month pension in just 7 more years instead of double that in eight!

    Wait a minute....
  18. PobreCarlos

    PobreCarlos New Member


    Assuming you were a CSPF receipient, the fact is that, if things had adhered to the final [agreed upon] offer, and UPS had *NOT* ultimately withdrawn from Central States, you'd probably be receiving a lot LESS than "$3,500/month"...and that would be in the form of an "insurance" subsidy provided by the government; CSPF is essentially bankrupt. The fact is that the Teamsters have :censored2:-away BILLIONS of UPS pension plan participants money...and if you think that you'd be "enjoying" MORE if the union hadn't squandered those funds (through failure to organize or whatever), then you're sadly mistaken.

    'Course, you could demand to get BACK into Central States if you wanted! Sound like a plan?
  19. klein

    klein Für Meno :)

    I wouldn't count on any amount of pension , until you actually receive it, and then who knows for how long ?

    But to answer this thread, just ask any cover driver how long it takes to almost fully replace a driver on a 3 week vacation.
    I'ld say after 2 weeks, he/she (the cover driver), is pretty much at 90% as the regular driver.

    Let the stike go beyond 2 or 3 weeks, and they won't need a teamster back !

    Face it, the only qualification you need is a driver's license.
    Unlike a trademan, such as an automechanic, plumber, electrician, etc.
  20. Justaname

    Justaname Member

    The only unskilled job is management. Doesn't take much training or brains to tell a person to achieve a numerical goal that was planned by a computer. Skills achieve those goals.