Seniority gives you the right to work, not the right not to work​.

Discussion in 'UPS Union Issues' started by Integrity, Oct 26, 2013.

  1. Integrity

    Integrity Binge Poster

    To My Fellow UPS Workers and Teamsters Brethren,

    The purpose of this discussion thread is not to gripe or complain about conditions at UPS, management, the Union or for that matter anything at all about UPS. The sole purpose of this discussion thread is to discuss the following work-related issue with other employees as an initial step in engaging in some concerted activity to bring this issue up to the company or the union as a group.

    It is my hope that by addressing this issue in concert we not only be working for our own mutual aid, protection and improved working conditions, but we will be working for the benefit of any and all coworkers that may have been adversely affected by this issue.

    Have you ever heard or seen posted on the BC the statement "Seniority gives you the right to work, not the right not to work​."?

    I saw it recently posted in a discussion thread and I thought it necessary to open a discussion about it because I think it is an often misunderstood and often misapplied statement.".

    As I see it, the true statement should be and always should be "Seniority gives you the right to work and the right not to work." Based upon the needs of the business.

    Let me make one statement clear before I proceed, "needs of the business" over rides seniority in many instances and it is even mentioned in some places in the Master and some supplements as an over riding principle.

    That being said. How can seniority provide both the right to work and the right not to work?

    You may be asking yourself; is Integrity trying to tell me that seniority can offer 2 what seems to be opposite rights?

    Well the answer is kind of, yes.

    The prevailing point of seniority is preference, some call it "right of first refusal" but that terminology isn't widely used and often misunderstood.

    Although I haven't seen that exact terminology in any contract language, I think the principle behind how the term is being used really does apply.

    The more commonly accepted term used is "offer from the top force from the bottom".

    Now this terminology, if properly applied , clearly shows that seniority gives the right (the preference) to work, and it also shows that seniority gives the right (the preference) not to work.

    Remember this; seniority must be honored in an honest way but legitimate "needs of the business" must come first because if the business fails because a legitimate need is not met then how will seniority benefit anyone in a failed business.

    On a similar note "needs of business" must never be misapplied to dishonestly circumvent seniority but that issue and practice is better left for another discussion.

  2. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    Our Saturday air driver is less than reliable and there have been several times when I have received a phone call early Saturday morning asking if I want to run Saturday air. Saturday air does have a 90 minute relaxed commit but it can still be tough to get everything delivered on time----it would be even tougher if they took the time to start at the top of the seniority list and call until they got someone to come in. They have several "go to" drivers that they call and are willing to pay any grievances that may result as a cost of doing business.

    "Needs of the business" should not circumvent the seniority process other than during operational emergencies.
  3. Integrity

    Integrity Binge Poster


    Thanks for your participation in this discussion.

    Although I thought "needs of the business" concept can use a thread of its own I will take the liberty to comment on your statement that I completely agree with.

    Needs means needs. I think true emergencies are what we are talking about, not simple problems that occur on a regular or occasional basis.

    Unfortunately there is language in some supplements that allows the over riding of vacation pick seniority if the pick would interfere with or hamper operations.

  4. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    I would think an air driver "no show/no call" would not be a simple problem.
  5. kingOFchester

    kingOFchester Well-Known Member

    It should all be about seniority. Allowing the company to trump seniority do to "needs of the business" is giving UPS the ability to play games. As an hourly, all we have is seniority. They need to staff and plan according to seniority to full fill the "needs of the business".
  6. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    Our Saturday air driver usually starts between 8-8:30am depending upon the ETA of the plane, which is as early as 8 and as late as the weather allows. Our EAMs have a 1030 commit and the NDA's noon. If the Saturday sup has to start making phone calls at 8:30 or 9 he may spend an hour or more on the phone trying to get someone to come in; meanwhile, the plane has to be offloaded and cannot be held on the ground. There is only one sup so he/she would have to have the phone in one hand while offloading the plane and separating the air with the other. In this instance "needs of the business" trumps seniority.
  7. Integrity

    Integrity Binge Poster


    I agree in principle, but just because individuals in the company might abuse the very limited flexibility that "needs of the business" principle should allow doesn't make it something that should not be reasonably allowed.

    You have strong feelings on this.

    What do you make of the following language in a local supplement?

    ,the choice for vacation shall be based on seniority provided such assignment does not interfere with or hamper operations.

  8. kingOFchester

    kingOFchester Well-Known Member

    Agree, but allowing this language gives UPS the ability to abuse the verbiage "needs of the business". This language gives UPS the ability to under staff and claim "needs of the business". As unfortunate as it may be, they need to have back up plans that do not trump seniority, giving UPS full freedom to abuse this out.
  9. Integrity

    Integrity Binge Poster


    I disagree.

    I think the management of the company should be able to handle this without violating seniority.

  10. kingOFchester

    kingOFchester Well-Known Member

    Ok, so they deny vacation pick do to it "hampering operations". To me that is a staffing issue.

    UPS needs to staff according to seniority. UPS needs to have plans in affect to cover operations that do not trump seniority.

    The contract that allows UPS the ability to deny vacation picks do to operations is shameful at best.

    UPS has up to a year to train cover drivers to cover vacations. Rather then sitting around the office eating pizza, Spying on drivers, they should be on the road training.
  11. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    Other than having another driver "on call" how would you propose that they plan for this while maintaining the operation?
  12. kingOFchester

    kingOFchester Well-Known Member

    Why "other then have another driver on call"?. That is what they should do.
  13. upschuck

    upschuck Well-Known Member

    You could have a sheet to sign if you are willing to work, then start at the top of that seniority and call. Can you imagine the uproar if they started to call at the top of seniority list. It's saturday, people don't want to be woken up early. They have double sort lists up a bunch in my hub, should be able to do that same thing for sat air driving.
  14. grgrcr88

    grgrcr88 No It's not green grocer!

    Extra work list
  15. grgrcr88

    grgrcr88 No It's not green grocer!

    They send a message every friday to every driver asking if you want to work Saturday. Compile a list of yes answers and start from the top by seniority when needed.
  16. grgrcr88

    grgrcr88 No It's not green grocer!

    Back to the OP, in our center when the company knows they are going to have extra drivers, and especially when they are trying to train new hires, they will put out a sign up sheet for anyone that would like to have that particular day off. You must come in or call in the next morning and they start at the top of the list by seniority and allow off until they get the drivers on the street that they need to train. Have not had a problem with that yet.

    I will say that seniority does not mean you can force someone to work and you get to go home! If the company puts you on a route as a cover driver because you know the route and lower seniority cover drivers are laid off for the day, your gonna have to work!! No matter how much you bitch about seniority!!
  17. upsset

    upsset Member

    your center only has 1 sup and 1 driver for Saturday delivery?
  18. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    Yup although for some reason they had 2 on road today. We add drivers for heavier days, such as Mother's Day and Valentine's Day.
  19. cachsux

    cachsux Wah

    705 is "Seniority prevails in all situations". There is no "needs of the business" caveat. If you gave mgmt that there would always be some "need".
  20. you aint even know it

    you aint even know it Well-Known Troll Troll

    "Needs of business of business"

    If Santa comes to my hub and steal all the packages and there is no work - Im still guaranteed my 3 1/2 hours. Only in emergency situation "needs of business" applies.