Teamster Pensions - The Ultimate Goal and Weakness of UPS Contract Negotiations

Discussion in 'UPS Union Issues' started by InsideUPS, Mar 9, 2013.

  1. InsideUPS

    InsideUPS Active Member

    While many contract related discussions here on BrownCafe have centered around issues such as co-pay for healthcare, starting wages for part-timers, harassment, over 9.5, and retiree healthcare premiums, I believe the main focus and long term goal of UPS is to eventually control all of the 18 Teamster multi-employer pension funds. UPS already controls the Central States and New England funds. All of the other 16 remaining Teamster Pension funds with the exception of the Western Conference are facing financial difficulties. UPS stands to save significant sums of money (Billions) by paying into a single employer pension plan. The added bonus for UPS controlling the pension funds is that it will eventually weaken the Teamsters into non-existance.

    (source: Survey Reveals Most Teamster Pension Funds in “Red Zone” | Teamsters for a Democratic Union )
    (on behalf of Stink....reader discretion is advised)

    I believe that hall is negotiating our contract in a manner that will preserve the remaining Teamster pension funds as long as possible. His "creative solutions" most likely include "compromised agreements" in order to preserve the financial integrity of the remaining funds. After all, Mr. hall also represents many other companies that are drawing retirement pay from these very same funds. I personally do not envy his position.

    The "Red" is in the water and the UPS sharks are gathering for the feast. The "Tightest Ship in the Shipping Business" is not going to sink AND.... will most likely not be throwing too many life rafts in the water. The "Red Herrings" in these negotiations reminds me of the 1997 contract where we were first made to believe, that we the Teamsters, were fighting for "No More Part-time America".......when in was control over the Central States Pension Fund.............
  2. brown_trousers

    brown_trousers Active Member

    How would UPS controlling the pensions lead to "weakening the teamsters into non-existence"? If anything, UPS has shown themselves more capable of managing a pension than whoever ran the central states pension into the ground
  3. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    My pension is through the NYS Teamsters Pension Plan, which is a multi-employer plan. Our plan is in financial distress with several employers having either reduced or stopped contributing due to financial difficulties. If UPS were to pull out of the plan it would be devastating to those retirees and employees of the remaining companies. This is where "weakening the Teamsters in to non-existence" comes in to play.
  4. stink219

    stink219 Well-Known Member

    OP, you are so way off. The NE Pension Fund is not controlled by UPS. This is the 5th time I addressed this. Where are you getting that information from? Please let me know. The fund is completely controlled by the Teamsters. The only thing that changed was that UPS pulled out of the multi employer fund and into their own. They did this because they already owed 2 billion in unfunded liability. They paid 890 million of that up front and owe the rest over the course of 50 years at 49 million a year. As union shops were going out of business because due to economic downfall, it was unfair that UPS was eventually going to be the ones footing the whole unfunded amount, so they went in their own pool. The money that UPS gives the Teamsters for our pension is now used for UPS Teamsters only. This pension model is the one that will be adopted in other areas. Even Europe's unions will changing their pension structure to this one. So once again, can you please post were you are getting this information from?
  5. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    Would you at least concede that separating UPS Teamsters (and their contributions) from the remaining Teamsters weakens the Teamsters as a whole?
  6. stink219

    stink219 Well-Known Member

    Not without theory. Explain how? The monies are still pooled together for investment purposes. I think you would only see a difference in respect to pension amounts between UPSers and other Teamsters after about 10 years. This is due to the accrual rate being locked for that time.
  7. BigUnionGuy

    BigUnionGuy Got the T-Shirt

    Just as UPS in no way "controls" the Central States pension fund. Way off base.

  8. InsideUPS

    InsideUPS Active Member

    Greetings Stink - Bug : ) Thank you for your additional input on this subject. I agree that UPS does not administratively "control" the New England Pension Fund and I apologize for not being more clear on my meaning of the word "control". "Control" in my mind comes in two forms, direct & indirect. IMHO, UPS clearly has "indirect" control of both the UPS portion of New England Fund and the UPS portion of the Central States fund.

    Reference for Below Comments:

    Under the agreement, UPS plans to pay the withdrawal liability in annual $43 million installments over 50 years, Mr. Black said. In the current quarter, ending Sept. 30, UPS plans to take a charge of $896 million for the present value of its total withdrawal liability from the original pension plan structure. Also, in the new structure, UPS' “liability is only what is in our contract” with its employees who belong to the New England Teamsters fund, Mr. Black said.
    “Clearly, it's cost-effective,” Mr. Black said of the new structure.
    “In addition, UPS and NETTI have agreed to a contribution rate for future accruals designed to ensure UPS employees do not see a reduction in their pension benefits, and the company will not be required to increase cash contributions for 10 years,” the statement said.

    Stink, I understand and appreciate your desire to defend our Union and to safeguard against mis-information however, we must also guard against NOT providing UPS'ers with a CLEAR and CONCISE understanding of what their pension will be when they retire.....AND....for years after they retire.....

    For example...from above.....Mr. Black states that "UPS's liability is ONLY what is in our contract". I guarantee you that the contract language will NOT detail the pension. It will only contain language that states the UPS Pension benefit is detailed in the UPS's Summary Plan Document... . ONLY after you peel off layer after layer of obscure language will you discover what your pension MAY be. I have not met one driver in our 90+ driver center that knows or understands what he or she will actually receive in pension benefits when they retire and for years after they retire. Most drivers that have part-time years are extremely disappointed when they apply to Atlanta for their pension benefit determination. (Central States). Even our long time BA who was a driver for many years informed me that he was not absolutely sure what his pension will be... There is absolutely NO excuse in my mind why we can't be very CLEAR on our pension benefit BEFORE and AFTER we retire.

    Freezing UPS pension benefits for a period of 10 years puts UPS clearly in "control" of the pension in my mind. No matter how dedicated of a UPS Teamster we are, we must face reality and deal with facts rather than political rhetoric. Gone are the days where Teamsters have no access to "other" information. There is nothing wrong with questioning issues that will determine our livelihood.

    In closing, I maintain that all contracts from this point forward will involve the "Big Picture" for UPS which includes the "Golden Goose"...the UPS portion of the Teamster pension funds. It is only a matter of time as more pension benefits are being payed out than our coming in from Teamster jobs. You and I will never really know ALL the "compromised agreements" that are going on behind closed doors but UPS is clearly in "control" from my perspective. My mother's accounting business once had a plaque hanging in her office that read "He who has the Gold...Makes the Rules".. Clearly it is UPS who has the Gold. Only by being open, honest, and facing reality will we be able to maximize our fair share of this Gold. UPS Teamsters of today are in a totally different era from the Teamsters of yesteryear.... We can no longer win favorable contracts using old bargaining tactics of the past (dare I say...strike). We must come up with and implement new strategies that do NOT put our workers at risk of losing their jobs. All this IS possible with the right leadership AND support.
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2013
  9. InsideUPS

    InsideUPS Active Member

    Thank You...UPstateNYUPSer...

    Yes...UPS is more fiscally sound than the various Teamster pension funds..... and certainly capable of managing a pension, however, placing our pensions in the hands of UPS is NOT without risk.
    Lasted edited by : Jul 30, 2014
  10. stink219

    stink219 Well-Known Member

    I guess we see what we want to see. I see UPS give a bunch of contractually obligated money to the Teamsters who are responsible for investing and distributing. Apparently others thing the 10 year lock on accruals is the UPS control. Unfortunately it is impossible to project that far in advance due to economic stability issues. Once again, if I gave I owe someone 100 bucks and hand to them and tell them to go shopping, I'm I in control?
  11. BigUnionGuy

    BigUnionGuy Got the T-Shirt

    If you are a participant in one of these funds.... You certainly have a right to an opinion. Even if it is wrong.

  12. InsideUPS

    InsideUPS Active Member

    I really wish it was that simple Stink.

    Besides...if you (UPS) owe someone 100 dollars (like UPS owed the Teamsters for the Pension liability).....and you (UPS) hand it to them (Teamsters)... and tell them (Teamsters) to go shopping (distribute on the remaining Teamsters in the fund how they wish), "I'm (UPS is) in control?"

    Logically speaking....does this not put UPS (You) in "control"?
  13. stink219

    stink219 Well-Known Member

    UPS doesn't dictate the investments.
  14. anonymous6

    anonymous6 Guest are right on the money ( no pun intended )

    people who name me ONE company who took over their employees pension plan without raiding it and weakening their employees' power and i will eat my socks.

    better than that, i will eat my shorts.

    just google company takeover of pension plans and read the horror stories.
  15. BigUnionGuy

    BigUnionGuy Got the T-Shirt

    Can you name one Teamster represented company.... that has ever done that ?

    Hope you are hungry. :funny:

  16. InsideUPS

    InsideUPS Active Member

    BigUnionGuy - Wrong vs. Right .

    I rarely get involved in potentially endless conversations here at BrownCafe....especially when I know nothing about the person whom I am debating. After all, I could be wasting my time on a troll kindergartner here and I would not know the difference. Based on your BC name (BigUnionGuy), I'll just assume have a strong belief system in favor of the Union. You're certainly welcome to correct me if I'm "wrong" here.

    When it comes to proclaiming someone else is "wrong" on other matters, the credible method of doing so is to present some form of evidence to the contrary. In other words, use some form of references to support your argument or claim. Simple statements like "even if it is wrong" gives you no credibility on this matter at all. THIS is what I was talking about when I stated that TEAMSTERS of Yesteryear need to EVOLVE into modern Teamsters...ones that do more than reiterate what others have told them to say or do. I realize and understand your passion for the Union, however I suggest you read and understand the 40+ page UPS Summary Plan Document that was written for UPS Teamsters retiring under the Central States plan.
  17. InsideUPS

    InsideUPS Active Member

    Teamsters-Hostess | International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT)

    "While paying millions to its executives, Hostess took the money that was supposed to go into employees’ pensions and used it for other things.
    Hostess just went bankrupt and got a judge to allow them to pay $1.75 million in bonuses to 19 of their executives. Yet… It turns out that Hostess took the money that was supposed to go into employees’ pensions and used it for other things. They say they spent it on company operations, but court records show them asking for permission to pay their CEO and other executives a lot of money."
  18. BigUnionGuy

    BigUnionGuy Got the T-Shirt

    I understand it quite well.

    Maybe.... you could point out to me.... in that 40+ pages,

    What does it say about "grandfathered" Business Agents in office.... at the time of the agreement ?


    * I will be waiting *
  19. balland chain

    balland chain Member

    I have 20 years in the central states plan that will in a matter of time be non existent. Rumor, and I stress rumor that we are hearing is that UPS will no longer cover the years of service we have with central states if they go under. I think if that happens it would go to the PBGC (government backed) and it is about 1/3 of what you were normally getting. Personally, I do not care what I earn. I drive a piece of crap 1995 car that gets great mpg, hell why drive a nice car to park it in a lot in a bad area of town and the only time you can really enjoy driving it is on the weekend, my opinion only. What matters to me in this contract is, in this order, 1) my pension 2) my healthcare 3)the harassment of workers 4) use of their technology for discipline .

    These younger drivers need to save some of the paycheck. If this contract is one that does not protect us against loosing key benefits we ALL AS A UNION need to send the word to Atlanta, and vote NO !!!!

    With the economy on the side of the Company, we must stand together. They, even though is seems like they are dumb-ass'es for some of their decisions, are not stupid. They hire the best pencil pushers they can find, they know exactly what they can give us in this contract. The game is to give as little as possible, so they can get richer.

    If we stand together we can send a message that we will not stand for their Corporate Greed.
  20. UPS Preloader

    UPS Preloader Active Member

    Stink219, I don't believe they paid 890 million up front... I think that was just what they wrote off as the present day value of the future liability.