New jobs displease workers at UPS

Discussion in 'The Archives' started by my2cents, Mar 28, 2003.

  1. my2cents

    my2cents Guest

    New jobs displease workers at UPS

    <snip>When United Parcel Service cut a deal last summer to bring 10,000 nonunion workers into the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, it seemed a good arrangement for all.

    UPS could sign a six-year National Master Agreement two weeks ahead of the strike deadline. The Teamsters would receive a boost in membership from its largest constituency. And the newly represented union members were supposed to receive better wages and benefits.

    But a number of UPS workers in Louisville say they came out the losers in a union induction that was involuntary and unwelcome, and they have asked the National Labor Relations Board to take action against UPS.</snip>

    <snip>Employees like 50-year-old Ruth Riley argue that the new jobs are too strenuous for aging workers and have resulted in injuries on the job ranging from pulled muscles to pinched nerves. "I didn't ask to be a union employee, and I think that's very unfair," said Riley, who suffered a shoulder injury soon after taking on her new duties.

    "It's very frustrating. It's not right," said Kim Fox, a 5-foot, 98-pound Okolona woman whose job now requires her to lift 70-pound bags. "They've already hurt me," said Fox, who spent weeks with her left arm in a sling after an injury on the job. "I didn't ask for this job. Pretty much, my boss told me you either handle it or you hit the door. And I can't handle it."</snip>

    Simply put, herding people into collectives is morally wrong. These clerks' free association rights were brazenly ignored and trampled upon under the collectivist banner of "labor peace." Hopefully, the NLRB will do the right thing and toss this clause out. Union membership is a free choice, not something that is foisted on the individual. One size does not fit all.
  2. wkmac

    wkmac Guest

    We had some at our location who were also effected and they weren't to happy either. A few did quit but so far most have stuck it out. Our Business Agent wanted to talk with them about joining the union but we convinced her not to because we were afraid she might not make it out alive![​IMG]
  3. upslocal480

    upslocal480 Guest

    I have a couple of questions about this portion that came from the link in the previous post...."Employees complain, too, about the loss of seniority under Teamsters rules that counts them as new employees. Since job assignments are based in part on seniority, that relegates veteran employees to some of the union's least-attractive positions, workers say.

    "They are treating us like new hires, like we've just come in," said 48-year-old Mary Fallon, a UPS employee for nine years"

    Above it says they lost seniority as a resut of being "unionized" so am I correct in understanding that our one clerk that was unionized dropped to the bottom of the seniority list once that happened? If so that means that clerk has less seniority than people that have worked there longer. It's kind of strange because that clerk had been just an international auditor before this happened but the job was combined with the ECS job (calling customers to get addresses) and when that happened another person that had been doing it was basically kicked off that job so that the newly unionized person can do it and the international audit job. But if seniority was lost than it seems that any of the rest of us, especially the guy that was kicked off the job, could have claimed that job. Someone help me out with this please. That job gets more hours and I'd definately like that.
  4. auditor

    auditor Guest

    I don't know, people. I just got one of these newly unionized jobs and I love it.

    These Revenue Recovery Auditors have been positions held by temps. I've been with the company for 9 years. I've now got a position that doesn't punish my joints, and a temp is out the door. More Union jobs and less subcontracted labor.

    What's the problem?
  5. proups

    proups Guest

    480: I'm as confused as you are about that Louisville deal. The way that I understood it, 50% of the current inside PT employees were supposed to be offered those new union jobs if any openings existed after placing the UPS employees doing that work. In other words, the UPS non-union PT auditors got first choice, then it went to 50% for any current PT union employee, then they hired off the street (those jobs went to the temps that were already doing the work).

    As far as your situation, I don't know if combining the work of two clerks would create a new job and open it up for bids. You would have to look at the contract - and your supplement.

    This deal in Louisville has to be something different.

    (Message edited by proups on March 29, 2003)
  6. my2cents

    my2cents Guest

    Most clerks I know are genteel women who have accepted the positions they work in, so they don't have to dump bags, work in the sort aisle, etc. My sympathies are with these clerks and I honestly hope they win their case. If the NLRB rubberstamps this, they should appeal it to the Circuit Court.
  7. my2cents

    my2cents Guest


    Its great that everything worked out for you, but its clear from the article, others don't share that perspective. From a legal standpoint there was no NLRB election for the affected clerks, just a Soviet-style job reclassification with potentially unwanted union representation. Even these elections are morally wrong because it violates one's common law right of freedom of contract. Additionally, it wouldn't surprise me if most of these employees were unaware of their Beck rights, as Kentucky is a non-right to work state. As I previously stated, one size unionism, does not fit all.

    The company agreed to this so they don't lose market share to FedEx and the union wanted this because they are desperately rebuilding their treasury and declining membership rolls.
  8. smf0605

    smf0605 Guest

    From reading the article it seems things were entirely different in Louisville than they were in my district.
    The UPS non-union employees that were transitioned into the union were already doing the same job they would be doing when they joined the union. Nothing changed except they are now in the union. There was no loss of seniority because they never had a seniority date. Although, as part of the negotiated agreement, they gained immediate seniority on 12/29.
    When we initially went through the process in our district, most non-union employees were quite upset with what they viewed as being forced into joining the union.
    After a presentation that showed them that they would no longer pay a portion of their health insurance and they would receive significant increases under the GWI their attitude changed dramatically.
    I started with 112 non-union employees and if they chose to stay non-union I had 10 non-union jobs for them to select from.
    When all was said and done, only 3 people chose another non-union job to go to, everyone else chose to join the union.
  9. johnny_b

    johnny_b Guest

    I have absolutely no sympathy. UPS is for people with backbone.
  10. my2cents

    my2cents Guest


    Good post. I'm glad people had a presentation and were offered choices in your district. I believe most of these problems arise because they are poorly communicated to the affected employees.
  11. upslocal480

    upslocal480 Guest

    I'm still wondering about the whole senioriy issue. Our clerk was hired before me but according to what I've heard, which hasn't been proven factual yet, ALL people that were recently unonized were given seniority dates starting the day they were unionized. That would basically mean that whatever time they had put in at UPS didn't count and they are basically new hires. Anyone know for sure what is up with this?
  12. auditor

    auditor Guest

    UPSlocal480---Apparently some of the temps who held the auditor jobs in our hub had the jobs for about a year or a year and a half. I didn't even know they existed. I worked preload, and there were no auditors on preload.

    The ones who kept their jobs have a senority date WITH UPS dating from about Jan.6, 2003. Their time with the temporary service is not counted with their senority. They are now Article 22 part-time inside employees and subject to all of the qualifications and terms of employment of any other new hire.

    I think it was crummy that the company didn't let existing part-time employees have these jobs a long time ago. Why should they have subcontracted this work at all? Why was I, 9 years with UPS, loading package cars and unloading trailers when some outside temp had such an enviable position?

    No, I don't feel any remorse for their situation.
  13. smf0605

    smf0605 Guest

    upslocal480 ... union employees have 2 dates, their employment date and their seniority date. If they go full time, they have a full time seniority date, which is usually years after their part-time seniority date.
    The transition employees are no different. They maintain their employment date, which is used for vacation allowance. They now have a seniority date, in most districts this date is 12/29/02.
    They are not treated as new hires, if they have been here for 4 years, they are considered to have gone through progression.
    They now fall under the vacation allowance of a union employee, which is a different schedule than non-union employees.
  14. smf0605

    smf0605 Guest

    auditor - the reason you couldn't have one of those positions during the past 9 years is because until the current contract those jobs were non-union positions.
  15. ups_vette

    ups_vette Guest

    I seriously doubt you would have wanted those "enviable jobs" at the rate of pay they worked for.
  16. auditor

    auditor Guest

    Yes smf0605, thank you for that erudite analysis. My point was that the company could have made those jobs Union any time they wanted and used existing employees to fill them. But they didn't.

    And still the process of assigning these new auditor positions has been hinky. There are 9 auditors on my shift. Eight of them went to the temps who were already there. Only ONE went up as a bid position. UPS could have, and SHOULD have posted all of them for bid to cuttent employees.

    The fact is, there are still a lot of people who would want these jobs but don't even know about them because auditors don't work all shifts. My opinion is that there is some shady dealing going on here.
  17. smf0605

    smf0605 Guest

    ups vette -- that's not quite true. Grade 4 non-union clerks, (which is what those positions were) start at a much higher rate than a union new hire.
  18. upslocal480

    upslocal480 Guest

    So basially these new union employee are treated like transfers? I transfered and have my original company seniority just for vacations and pay but a seperate seniority, or location seniority, date for bidding on jobs. Souds to me like these people that were moved into union jobs are about the same. So that means I have more seniority to bid on future jobs than our clerk even though they were hired before me.

    I've heard that allot of these people were red cirlcled after they were unionized and will be until they are earning the "correct" pay rate for the time they've worked with UPS.
  19. smf0605

    smf0605 Guest

    auditor - I'm not sure why you think UPS is in favor of changing non-union jobs into union ones, but they're not.
    I'm also not sure why you believe the assigning of the jobs was underhanded, the jobs went to the people that were currently performing them. That was agreed upon during contract negotiations. If there were any positions remaining after they were offered to the people currently performing them, they would then be offered to employees on the same shift.
  20. tieguy

    tieguy Guest

    Be carefull what you ask for. I have a feeling there will be many auditors learning how to load and unload.