Union Activity 101

Discussion in 'UPS Union Issues' started by Fredless, Sep 24, 2007.

  1. Fredless

    Fredless APWA Hater

    I've seen a lot of threads asking the same questions over and over. Maybe we can get some other experienced people and stewards to chime in and potentially make this a sticky?

    I'm in the SOUTHERN REGION, so please bear with me if I don't match exactly how it is in your building.

    I'm the PM steward for my hub for the part timers, so bear with me here too. I don't know all the 9.5 language, doesn't apply to me or the members I represent the majority of the time.

    Q1: My steward is a piece of crap why won't he/she do anything, I really want to file a grievance!?

    A1: Hold on one second. I know at my building, I have a small amount of cry babies and they're usually older and haven't been employed that long. Don't think for ONE SECOND that just because you are going to the steward, that he/she can wave their magical steward hand and get you off the hook for anything. We ARE NOT Gods! If you REALLY think you are being shoved off, DON'T GO CRYING ABOUT HOW CRAPPY YOU
    THINK you are being treated, go to another steward or someone whose been here for awhile and see what they think. Most of the time you will be told that's how it is. If you don't get any further, work your way up the ladder, contact the Business Agent for UPS at your local, most of the time communication errors can be solved in a 5 minute phone call. Talk trash about the steward and see who you go crying to when they try to suspend you for petty misloads. Point - be careful who you burn bridges with. If you REALLY think you could do better, try and put yourself in the stewards shoes. We don't get paid extra for being a baby sitter, yet we get yelled at for everyone and have to get you off the hook for EVERYTHING.

    Q2:Why does that punk ass kid who still has a good back get to leave before me or why does that punk kid able to take the over time from me? Shouldn't they respect my age and the fact that I have a family?

    A2:Seniority PREVAILS. THATS HOW IT IS, BAR NONE NO QUESTIONS ASKED. Just because this punk 22-23 year old kid is going home before you on a Friday night and you are sent to the bulks to load iregs. and you think you should go home first because you are older, etc..DOESN'T FLY. That punk kid has been here longer than you, probably since he/she was in high school and has about 4 years of seniority (which is a decent amount for the PM shift at my hub). The union creates everyone as EQUAL, or at least thats the idea. Weather or not thats enforced, or true..well you be the judge but nothing is perfect. Anyway, I went through the SAME orientation everyone else SHOULD HAVE went through. I was TOLD I HAD to lift up to 70 pounds BY MYSELF continuously!! That applies to ALL jobs folks. Don't think because you bid out of reload to a clerk or car wash job doesn't mean you won't ever have to touch a package again.

    To the older people looking for benefits, this is NOT an easy job. IF YOU DO NOT AGREE WITH SENIORITY BEING EVERYTHING, GO INTO MANAGEMENT OR SEEK EMPLOYMENT ELSEWHERE!! I cannot make that more clear. Do NOT come crying to me that its hard on your 40+ year old body to unload trucks for longer than some kid. If the kid has seniority on you, and they say who wants to go home first, and he says he wants to go AND has seniority - sorry pops, get your ass back in the trailer. As a steward, I cannot wave my magical stewards hand to get you out of work to violates someone seniority. My best advice to this is to befriend your senior employees in your area and say "hey i've got a bad back ache thats been going on for days, you mind if I can go home first tonight?" MOST of the time, they will help you out. I know I do when our junior clerk wants to go home early for family reasons etc. She just asks, "hey my aunt so and so is in town, can I go home early for the next few days?" 99% of the time I say yes, unless I have some exam the next morning for class. ITS THAT SIMPLE FOLKS

    Q3: My supervisor was a jerk off to me last week, so now I want to file on him to get him back

    A3:Great, now you get shown that because you were "cool" with your sup and he sent you down the river, now you'll enforce the contract? I hate these "vengeance" greivances. Regardless, glad you started to enforce the contract. First solution is ALWAYS, hey stop working. LET ME DO THAT FOR YOU. If they tell you to get lost or continue, you have HELPED YOUR CASE A GREAT DEAL. When the steward presents the greivance to the manager, mine like to come back with "well we had call ins and did YOUR MEMBER offer to do the work?" Fine, I can play that. Warn them once, then greive after and always. If the sup or other sups KEEP working, WRITE THIS DOWN during break or BEFORE/AFTER your shift. Per the UPS policy book, NO UNION BUSINESS WHILE ON THE CLOCK (like this, safety/discilpline/dispute issues are another story).


    Read article 3, section 7.d for the penalty you are entitled to. If its under 2 hours, you are entiled to that time worked at YOUR CURRENT overtime rate of pay. If they work OVER 2 HOURS, you get 4 hours at straight time or the actual time worked at your over time rate of pay, whichever is greater. Page 11, also check out your local supplements. Also, don't just write you want the money. It helps if you write along with the monitary this: "TO STOP MANAGEMENT FROM WORKING. TO CREATE MORE HOURLY JOBS" It helps later on for a large case, the union can pull out greivances and say "we've continued to grieve you and yet you still are doing bargaining unit work!"

    Q4: What should I write on the greivance for a contract violation?

    A4: Be as BASIC as possible. For example you caught your supervisor working,
    Contract violation:

    Supervisor john doe was working for 3 hours loading on bay 18.

    Remedy sought: To be paid 3 hours at my current over time rate of pay. To STOP MANAGEMENT from working. TO CREATE MORE HOULRY JOBS

    Don't write the whole story on the front, management gets a copy and when the greivance is heard, it gives management a chance to have ammunition against the greivance. Give your details to your steward. The union is called the MOVING PARTY on these issues, WE HAVE TO PROVE they were working or violating the contract.

    Q5: Ok I'm getting a green check for an article 17 (pay issue) will be I taxed like a european?

    A5: NO NO NO! Its spelled out CLEAR AS DAY. In fact, on all my A17 greviances, I REMIND management on my remedy saught. Open to page 43 of the master agreement. I quote, "All green checks will be taxed at the employee's regular with-holding tax rate."

    I have more to add, but I have to get to class right now.
  2. Fredless

    Fredless APWA Hater

    I guess theres time limits on the edits so more of my experiences:

    Q6: I have just been given a "talk with" that management wrote in my file. Can I grieve this because its bullcrap? I didn't sign it either, because my steward was informed enough to tell me I don't have to sign ANYTHING! The steward just signed it to ACKNOWLEDGE it. Think of this a traffic ticket, the steward just signs to acknowedge that him/her was there with you during the meeting with management. This doesn't mean that you agree with it, this is why you refuse to sign.

    A6: No, you cannot grieve a talk with. However, if you feel its for something valid, like they wrote you up for miss-loads and you've not been trained properly, or someone else snatched your scanner because you were a retard and left it sitting while you went to take a dump, and used it - write a letter of protest to your business agent at your local union that deals with UPS. WRITE THIS LETTER AND GIVE IT OR MAIL IT TO THE LOCAL UNION ASAP! WITHIN 10 DAYS!

    For example:

    To whom it may concern:

    On (DATE) I was given a talk with by (whoever was present) for missloads. I feel this is unfair because (reasons why in your defense, not trained right, i forgot my scanner etc etc.)


    John or Sally Teamster

    What this does, if it escalates, to a suspension or termination level gives the steward and/or business agent ammunition to fight for your cause. If you don't write a letter of protest, the company takes the posistion that you agree with whatever they're accusing you of.

    Q7:The company continues to write me up for being late and or calling out sick (unexcused abscence folks unless you have a doctors note/jury duty or some other VERY VALID reason why you called in). Now they issued me a warning letter. Can I grieve this?

    A7: Once again, no you cannot. Write a letter of protest like you would for the talk with. However, this a WRITTEN warning and is much more serious than a simple talk with. DEFINITELY write a letter of protest on why you DISAGREE with the warning letter to the local union. And for god sakes, COME TO WORK ON TIME. 1 minute late is LATE. Technically, if no supervisors are working, they can say "hey mr. lateass, we don't need you today. go home."

    Seniority AND the 3.5 hour gurantee is also out the window if you come to work late. PLEASE, be punctual. If there is one thing thats very very hard for the union to get you off the hook with, its attendance/punctuality issues and work place violence. COME TO FREAKING WORK AND BE ON FREAKING TIME. SHIFT STARTS, YOU ARE TO BE THERE ON TIME! UPS does NOT care about your other job that may make you late, that is NO excuse. If you don't agree to this, SEEK EMPLOYMENT ELSEWHERE. I don't mean to sound harsh, but thats how it is. TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT.

    Q8: Well, I've just had car trouble still and my day job keeps holding me up and now the company is going to suspend me..what do I do?

    A8: Good going. Pat yourself on the back. No really, GRIEVE THIS WITHIN 10 DAYS. In fact, do it immediately and give it to your steward that end of shift or the next day. I cannot stress this enough, if you don't grieve a suspension in a timely matter (10 BUSINESS DAYS), there is NOTHING the union will do. The company will motion that it is an untimely grieveance and that will be the end of that. No POSSIBLY getting your pay back at time and a half for the days you were suspended, AND this stays on your record for 9 MONTHS now because you were to lazy to get around to filing the grieveance.

    Write in there VERY basically: On (date) I was issued an intent to suspend.

    Remedy saught: To not be suspended and to be paid time and a half for all hours missed that are caused by this suspension.

    Thats it. Plain and simple, don't cry on the front of the grievance, save your tears for your steward, we are here for you.:crying:

    Q9: Mr.Steward, I just can't seem to learn and I still have bad excuses on why I can't come to work at all or on time. They're going to fire me!

    A9: GRIEVE WITHIN 10 days or you WILL LOSE YOUR JOB. In fact, do it the next day! Follow the same guidelines as above, be very blunt. I was issued blah blah..remedy - TO NOT BE TERMINATED, TO BE REINSTATED IN FULL AND TO BE MADE WHOLE IN EVERYWAY. TO BE PAID TIME AND A HALF FOR ALL HOURS MISSED DUE TO TERMINATION.

    Why the extra about "whole in everyway?" Sometimes an arbitrator will read the case "as written for remedy saught." Ok, fine says UPS. This guy has his job back, but mmm we don't feel like giving his health benefits back until another 8.5 weeks.

    Class time again. I will have more in the near future as I go through my files. Hope you newbies are reading this.
  3. Fredless

    Fredless APWA Hater

    Car washers in the SOUTHERN REGION:

    Open to page 190 of the contract, article 53 of the supplement.

    "Rubber boots will be made available for carwashers."

    I had a carwasher complain to me that he personal boots/shoes were getting torn up and the soles keep coming off because of the diesel fuel on the ground near the gas pumps (just normal spillage). The person asked me if there was anything that could be done? I dug through the contract and found this sentence. Just addressed it with her supervisor, didn't even know it was there, and he went on OASIS and ordered some boots for her. She's happy as can be now.

    Read the next paragraph about uniform, if you don't meet the public you can wear almost whatever you want. Females (or males?:laugh:) you are entitled to a work apron. I have a few clerks that choose to wear these aprons. "..primary job involves handling and processing of packages, will be provided with a work apron UPON REQUEST."

    Back to carwashers:
    Q: Oh crap, I just hit a package car trying to park a package car. No one saw, I don't have to tell right? How can they prove this?

    A: WRONG. ALWAYS, ALWAYS report accidents even if its a cracked mirror or paint scratch. Its much better for you to just get an ass chewing, or even a warning letter versus LOSING your job immediately. I lost a carwasher recently because of this. The employee, whose been at the job for a long time and an excellent employee and his supervisor stuck up for him as well in front of loss prevention - regardless, he did not report the accident. They questioned all of the car washers, no one snitched but when the person who did it, did the RIGHT thing by admitting it during the meeting.

    Why did he lose his job that night? Open to page 188 (southern region) article 52, not reporting an accident is a cardinal sin. Meaning, they don't have to go through the steps of discilpline to terminate. The LP said "here, we want you to write a statement. It gives you a chance to tell your side of the story and it may help your case. BUT, you do not have to if you don't want to. I cannot force you to do this." I asked management to go outside and I told the member "DO NOT, DO NOT DO NOT write this statement. You pay union dues to tell a story through the union. If you write this statement, they have on paper that you ADMIT to doing this and NOT reporting it. Don't sign anything during this meeting either. If you WRITE THIS STATEMENT AGAINST YOURSELF you will lose your job tonight." Employee says ok, I won't.

    What does he do when LP comes back in and AGAIN re-iterates the employee does not have to write it, but it will help his case to the company. Just like Lucifer tricking Eve into eating the apple to be equal with God.. The employee picks up the pen and starts writing. I was in shock.

    Well they go back outside the office after several phone calls, I immediately hand him a greivance at this point and tell him what he needs to write give him my cell number etc.. so they come back in with more management and his PITS file and separation forms. LP states "since we have a written statement saying you did not report the accident, we are terminating your employment. Hand over your ID card and any UPS property you may have."

    Luckily, he didn't sign anything else. Point is, DO NOT EVER, AND I MEAN EVER, WRITE A STATEMENT AGAINST ANOTHER UNION MEMBER AND THAT INCLUDES YOURSELF. I could not believe this employee wrote a statement against themself! If its theft or cardinal sin issue, I don't know for sure how the "guilty knowledge" thing works. I'm ignorant on that subject, maybeone someone can chime in. I'd have to call the BA if I ever had a theft issue and the company knew there were wittnesses on the thief and wanted statements from them.

    Basically, the person lost their job that night because of a stroke of a pen by their own doing. I hope we can get his job back, but its going to be MUCH more difficult that the company now has a written statement from the person.
  4. RockyRogue

    RockyRogue Agent of Change

    Sorry, friend, but I have to disagree with this statement. Its up to MY conscience whether I write said statement. Now, would I be a snitch? Probably not...unless it was gross misconduct. However, if management came up to me and asked, "Hey, did you see an accident out here tonight?" would be a different story. That having been said, it would probably net them a genuinely puzzled look and the answer, "Could you be more specific?" If their question was a little more detailed at first--as in they knew something had happened but were looking for corroboration--I'd tell them what I had seen. Just in general....I'm a grown man and I never lie. If I see something that violates my moral standards, you're d*mn right I'm gonna make a phone call!!!!! Theoretically, if I've done nothing wrong, I have nothing to worry about by giving my statement. And I know I'm going to get flamed and/or scolded for this but I have offered a statement to management because of misconduct by an hourly. The supervisor declined but said, "If I need one, I know how to find you." Would it stand up in a grievance hearing? Probably not but it would make my conscience feel better. Everyone should remember its YOU that has to look yourself in the mirror every morning. -Rocky
  5. satellitedriver

    satellitedriver Moderator

    Rocky is right on.
  6. RockyRogue

    RockyRogue Agent of Change

    Thanks for the support, Satellite. I wish I didn't feel like I would be fighting a one-man battle if I WAS put in such a situation. This is not meant to take pot-shots at anyone. I just have doubts I'd have supporters if I said, "Yeah, I saw something that wasn't right. What do you need from me?" This probably begs the question of if I have had this problem. The answer is no, except the time I mentioned above. But, I pray I'm wrong this time....:sad:. -Rocky
  7. mikeb

    mikeb tnbrown

    Back when i was a PT newbie i volunteered to wash and park package cars one night because the regular guy was out. i was maneuvering a car into its space when i heard a loud noise. got out to notice that i had put a nice scratch down the side of the adjacent car. my PT sup witnessed the whole thing. he said just between me and him we wont say anything. nothing else was ever said.:thumbup1:
  8. Fredless

    Fredless APWA Hater

    disagree all you want (this is good in my view, arguements/disagreements father ideas), after all of the backstabing I've seen management do to good employees (and bad)..Screw them. I'm not giving them anything to help their cases one bit.

    I always say, I cannot force you to not write a statement, but I don't encourage it either.

    However, I've never had to deal with a theft or moral issue. Management usually wants statements from other hourlies that so and so walked off or they cursed someone else out..petty bullcrap like that.
  9. RockyRogue

    RockyRogue Agent of Change

    I wasn't approached, Fredless. I offered it. The situation itself might have been kinda petty but this hourly had pushed the rules every which way but right. I'd had enough and offered my statement because I wanted it to stop.

    You sound like my kinda steward, Fredless......picking your battles carefully. I respect that. I'm blessed/cursed with this 'overdeveloped' conscience, by the way. It wouldn't let me NOT write a state in a moral or theft case. Trust me...I've been in situations where my conscience has SCREAMED bloody murder because it didn't like something I was doing or considering. I have to live with this conscience at the end of the day!!!! -Rocky
  10. Fredless

    Fredless APWA Hater

    Rocky - up to you. I just discourage any pissing contests between union members based on the fact that I like to assume we're all mature (har har) adults, and we need to STFU and get along.

    About picking my battles carefully, I do..and I always will. I'm not a mouthy steward and I don't go prancing around that I'm mr. tough guy steward. I've found that I can cause a lot more damage with my pen and word processing program than with my mouth.

    I have also found I have often regretted my speech, never my silence.
  11. satellitedriver

    satellitedriver Moderator

    I am impressed.
    A quote from Xenocrates.
    Good one.
  12. RockyRogue

    RockyRogue Agent of Change

    Again....my kinda steward. The shop steward I kinda went off on Over9 about :-)blush:) in another thread is a mouthy steward. Its part of why I can't stand the guy. And you're right...you can cause a lot more damage with your word processor/pen than your mouth. A student of the arts and humanities, my complaint letters usually make even the densest management take notice. My resignation letters aren't much worse :thumbup1:.
    I agree with Satellite. GREAT QUOTE!!! -Rocky
  13. Fredless

    Fredless APWA Hater

    Good job finding out the quote. :laugh: I definitely apply it though, and when I do yell (and I mean yell) which has happened twice since I became a steward, people listen.
  14. BrownShark

    BrownShark Banned


    With all due respect for your moral standards. Let me chine in with a little introspect of what would happen to you in my local if you went against one of my brothers or sisters that ultimately in collaboration with management cost them there jobs.

    First, depending on what you provided, accurate or inaccurate remember that you took an OATH to the Teamsters to protect each other from harm and to never violate the sanctity of brotherhood.

    That being said, you have a choice to make. While it may conflict with your "moral standards", you still have to make a choice. That choice will have consequences.

    As an "Officer" of the local, I would first summon you to the local to face the executive board and explain your actions, then after giving you the time to express your moral highground, I would motion the board to first fine you one days pay for every week the terminated brother was out of his job, then if the term was upheld in arbitration, and the company called you in as a witness to testify against your teamster brother, I would then motion the board to pull your union card and send you packing.

    At some later point, when you needed us most, you would find the effort to be somewhat resultless and ultimately you too would out of a job.

    Quite honestly, I dont like those who choose to openly "out" a fellow Teamster. If the company wants to prove its case, let "them" do so without putting yourself in a position having to chose between loyalty to your brothers and sisters and your paycheck. There is no reward from the company for being a snitch.

    In all reality, whats sounds better?

    a: honey, I just snitched on an employee today and the company told me I did a great job!!!:thumbup1:

    b: honey, I just came back from facing the executive board of the Teamsters and I will lose $245.00 a day for every week this employee is out cause I snitched on him and it looks like he will be out 60 days waiting for arbitration and then If I am called as a witness, the consequences could be worse than that, But on a good note, the company said I did a great thing! :crying:

    Dont be foolish.

    Ultimately, yes you must look in the mirror every morning, but the real test is facing your spouse and kids and telling them youre a snitch.

    Give your morals a break. The price to pay for them is too high.

    As for employee misconduct, there may be cases where it is important to say something so correction is involved. My suggestion is to contact your agent (BA) and tell him first privately, give him the chance to speak to the employee privately without mentioning names and see if the problem goes away.

    If not, speak to HR privately.

    If that doesnt solve the problem, and it affects you DIRECTLY, then speak to management.

    If it doesnt affect you DIRECTLY, STFU and let the company run its business.

  15. Steward773

    Steward773 Active Member

    Alot of good points in this thread! The stewards basic funtion is contract enforcement. you have to know the contract (especially all the grey areas), the members you represent, and management. You have to keep an open line of communication at all times with management, this is very hard to do sometimes. There are times that you should be animated, but you can't always walk around with a chip on your shoulder. I have settled MANY grievances (monetary, suspensions, discharges..you name it) at the first level. Knowledge comes with expierience for a shop steward. Good luck! :thumbup1:
  16. RockyRogue

    RockyRogue Agent of Change

    I was wondering if this would happen. Quite frankly, I'd expected it to be my good friend 705Red. However....since you've decided you want to do it, OK. By the way, I'll call you Mr. Shark. Let's get started.....

    Had to hit me in the kidney's, did you? Bringing up the oath was where you made a mistake.

    Indeed, it might have consequences. You made your second mistake in not knowing your adversary.

    See, this would be a good suggestion.....IF I WAS EMPLOYED BY THE INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF TEAMSTERS!!!! Since I'm not, its poor advice. In my opinion, unethical actions on the part of an hourly should remain an internal matter. The union is duty-bound to represent that employee when/if terminated or disciplined.

    I'm not a policeman, Mr. Shark. BUT.....if I see something I'm not going round and round with different branches of management--HR, etc. No, if I SEE something occur in the operation and no one else saw it--particularly management--I'd 'drop a dime' to that corporate ethics line. Being DIRECTLY AND PERSONALLY approached is a very different matter. At that point, I'd ask what they needed.

    Above, I mentioned you made several mistakes. Your mistakes--and your descriptions of the consequences--lead me to say this: I wouldn't give a *****. I'm in a Right to Work State. If I felt it appropriate, I could and WOULD leave the union! Your threatening and posturing only paints a worse picture of the IBT and unions in general.

    And by the way....I'm an EX UPS'er now. PAX! Rocky
  17. 1989

    1989 Well-Known Member

    I agree with rocky...take the dishonest employee and get him a job with your dishonest union.
  18. satellitedriver

    satellitedriver Moderator

    Thanks for your post.
    It is good to know that Gestapo style tactics still work in the teamsters.
    Protect the weak and worthless, as long as they pay their union dues.
  19. RockyRogue

    RockyRogue Agent of Change

    Sadly, I'm really not surprised by his post. I'd expected it a long time ago. The Gestapo tactics don't have a place in today's unions, not that they ever did. Diehard Teamsters like Mr. Shark are a DISGRACE to organized labor IMHO. -Rocky
  20. brazenbrown

    brazenbrown New Member

    Wow!! Would that be your integrity??

    Spoken like a true teamster thug!!:wink: