Union Politics and Our Contract

Discussion in 'UPS Union Issues' started by InsideUPS, Feb 19, 2013.

  1. InsideUPS

    InsideUPS Active Member

    History reveals that many major and life changing issues (including life and death issues of war) have been decided by politics. Not all political decisions have been in our best interest as a country. Following that same logic, can we always trust that our Union officials make the best decisions for us?

    While it is not my intention here to start a political debate, I would like to raise the question of whether or not you believe our Union is influenced by politics? In other words, Does our Teamster Union always look out for the best interest of UPS employees......OR do they sometime make decisions based on their own political gain within the Union?

    We all know that there is a divide amongst the Teamster Union. Teamsters for a Democratic Union (a.k.a. MakeUPSDeliver.org) is a major critic of our current elected officials. While I would like to think that we can always trust the people we elected to represent us, history tells me otherwise. Please note, I am NOT saying that I do not trust our current elected officials, I am simply pointing out that we all should at times monitor the actions of our representative and make independent decisions on how well we feel they are doing.

    The following is a random Google to demonstrate what I am talking about: Teamsters’ Hoffa Made $300,000 in 2010 | CNS News

    Independent thinking is a critical skill that we all need to develop in order to assure that our lives and those that we care for such as our family are not negatively influenced by "politics". As our negotiations continue, I suggest that you monitor your OWN feelings and emotions rather than get caught up in some wave of "feeling" that is generated by others. Remember, this is a "Collective Bargaining" agreement where we must look at ALL the contract language in regard to wages, pensions, benefits, and miscellaneous language pertaining to overtime, harassment, etc.. before we jump to any conclusions about what action we may take against OUR company. While we need to remain united and focused, we also must not allow "political grandstanding" get in our way of fairly and accurately assessing what is beneficial for both US and OUR company that provides us with a living.

    Definitions - The pejorative verb "grandstanding" is often applied to politicians or other public figures perceived to be using tactics designed to call attention to themselves instead of the issues.

    P.S. There has been considerable focus on the amount of profit UPS made in 2012. Interesting that 49 other companies were ahead of UPS in that department (link below). Considering the number of assets that UPS must maintain and operational expansions we need to stay competitive and grow, compared to let's say Apple, it actually is not as much as I thought. Some simple and approximate math using 360,000 employees and 4.X profit is about 11,000 per employee. Those that have never operated a business may not fully appreciate these numbers.. There are far more hidden expenses to operating a business than you may think... just ask the FedEx ground drivers who operate and own their package cars...

    Fortune 500 2012: Top Performers - Most Profitable Companies: Profits
  2. Monkey Butt

    Monkey Butt Dark Prince of Double Standards Staff Member

    The Union is a political organization where the representative leaders are elected by the members.

    I think it is safe to say that the Teamsters have been and will always be affected by politics.
  3. Inthegame

    Inthegame Well-Known Member

    If there is one question in that dissertation, I believe it is "is politics involved in the Teamsters?" The answer is obviously "yes". Politics are involved in everything.

    Of course it's your intention to start a political debate or you wouldn't have asked the question and brought up divisive issues such as TDU and Hoffa's salary.

    TDU has been critical of Teamster officials since their inception pre 1980. They break windows every day with no idea how to fix them. It's an easy road telling others they're inept but yet have no viable solutions other than abstract wishes on how things "should be". The wave of feeling to be wary of is the BS spewed by the likes of wannabe leaders at TDU.

    I'm not a Hoffa guy but let's put a little of your "critical skilled independent thinking" to use here. Hoffa makes peanuts compared to CEO comp packages and he runs a much larger operation. Figure it out...1.3 million members pay less than a quarter($0.25) a year to pay his salary. And because of the negotiations under his control, a UPS full timer makes that quarter in first thirty seconds of their first day of work each year.

    hall is reacting, not grandstanding, to another attack on working class America which is far too popular these days with corporate profits skyrocketing. UPS profitted 4.38 bl because of the efforts of those actives and retired now under attack.

    Scott Davis is welcome to whatever Comp package the Board decides, and the shareholders should get good dividends from their investment but if one employee or retiree has to lose so that happens, I'll welcome the chance to hold a picket sign. Enough is enough.
  4. bluehdmc

    bluehdmc Well-Known Member

    While 49 companies made more ahead of UPS in terms of profit, you could also say UPS was in the top 10% of the fortune 500, not a bad showing.
    Yet, they are asking for the workers to pay a percentage of their health insurance costs, essentially a PAYCUT.
    This might be concievable if the company was doing poorly, but in a stagnant economy they are posting record profits, and increased the dividend.
  5. rudy5150

    rudy5150 Active Member

    Companies like apple which has slave labor, and exxon who takes advantage and rape people with gas prices. No suprise they have better profits than UPS. Is our union goin to come up very short again for Part Timers this contract?
  6. brown_trousers

    brown_trousers Active Member

    Where did we rank profit-wise within our own industry?... thats the real question
  7. 804brown

    804brown Well-Known Member

    Im not exactly sure what you mean here. I dont see hoffa's motivation to give us a horrible contract. Ive never voted for the man (hoffa), but I think hall needs to deliver a strong contract for his own future. The election is over and we are all basically on the same page nationally on what we want in this contract. Granted at times leadership hasnt fought as some of us had wanted, but I dont see that as a political reason. It was just poor negotiating or mis reading of what the membership needed or wanted.

    Yet ups is not exempt from its own political decisions such as trying to destroy our union. Im sure they have made a political decision along with corporate america in general to fight the unions on everything in order to weaken or destroy all unions in this country!!

    My heart really bleeds for people like s davis. We make him and the shareholders over $4 billion in such unstable economic times. I dont see him taking a cut or concessions back to the board that decides HIS salary. No, UPS is not GM!! The economic state of this company is very strong . And the workers that produced above and beyond for the past few difficult years deserve to be rewarded for being squeezed...NOTHING LESS!!
  8. stink219

    stink219 Well-Known Member

    Please do not get me started with TDU. Ken P is praying on the fears of the weak with his pyramid scheme. Any organization that divides us is the antithesis of Teamster! He is so against multiple salaries yet he collects multiple salaries himself and hides his LM2's. He's so for the "democratic" process of electing officials, when was the last time he held a TDU executive election...NEVER. He and his executives are not even Teamsters. He hasn't paid dues since 1974. I could go on for days about the research I've done on that antiunion social communistic organization of Termites Destroying Unions. Ask yourself one question......What is Paff's vested interest in pursuing the multilevel marketing scheme like TDU. He can't be IBT president cuz he isn't a Teamster, so it's not Power. So it must be money!
  9. barnyard

    barnyard KTM rider Staff Member

    Our leaders are walking a tightline. There is no doubt that it is better for me if UPS is not a member of any MEPP, but it is not necessarily better for the Teamsters. It would probably be even better for me if a defined contribution plan were negotiated, however, that would be ruin for the Teamsters.

    Someone smarter than me has to figure out a way that the Teamsters can manage 401k accounts for their members, I believe that is what it would take for them to agree to negotiate it.

    I also do not believe that $300k is too much to pay the head of an organization such as the Teamsters.
  10. UnsurePost

    UnsurePost making the unreadable unreadabler

  11. stink219

    stink219 Well-Known Member

    So what would be a better wage for the head of a 1.4 million member labor union? Keep in mind my total compensation was 127k last year.....As a truck driver. What is a more practical wage for Mr. Hoffa? What would entice someone to choose a career as president of the teamster? CEO Snott Davis got 26% raise to 13 million. Not bad Snottie!!! So I'm just wondering.
  12. 104Feeder

    104Feeder Phoenix Feeder

    I think that the National and the Local focus on legislation and legislators that will enhance Union power so that they can increase membership & in doing so increase bargaining power. This may clash with my personal politics at times but I agree with their motivation and goals.

    I just wish the payoff had been better with the issues the Union pushes for working people and not on those I disagree with. I think we'll continue to get politicians who pay lip service to labor issues while taking our money until we get more a lot more workers joining Unions. 14.4 Million American's belong to Unions and 4.5 Million Americans belong to the NRA; who has more power in Washington?
  13. InsideUPS

    InsideUPS Active Member


    Thank you for your comments and "critical skilled independent thinking". The one item I do have to correct you on is your "assumption" that it was my intention to start a political debate. Pure and simple, my intention was to collect and analyze the thoughts of individuals here on BrownCafe. I am NOT here to get "likes" because I truly do not care if someone does not "like" the topics I bring up or comment on.

    A little about myself:

    1) I am not a mindless UPS Teamster cheerleader who blindly follows every word I hear from my Union. There are too many times in my 35 year career at UPS that I was DEEPLY disappointed in the way our Union handled various matters regarding discharges and other clear cut contract violations. There were clearly "other" things going on behind closed doors that were nefarious to say the least.

    2) I am NOT at ALL beloved by our Local UPS management. I am however respected because of the way I handle workplace issues and grievances.

    3 ) I am NOT a "TDU'er". I do believe however that opposing views keep people and matters in check. Nothing is more motivating in life than having an opponent. Competition makes us stronger and better. If UPS had no competition, would we be the company that we are today? I don't believe so. The concept of competition applies to everything in life right down to which mate you choose in life. Darwin....Survival of the Fittest...etc..

    4) I am a person who attempts to look at ALL VIEWS.... both from the management perspective AND from the hourly perspective. I give all management 100% of my respect from the first moment I meet them. It is up to that management person retain that 100% respect. If for some reason, that management person turns out to be a TRULY incompetent, "me against the Union" individual, I will do everything in my power to slowly take that management person apart......in a W-I-D-E variety of ways. I once had an old car washer give me some excellent advice.. "Don't get MAD...Get EVEN"..

    5) I own and operate a successful business. Having your own business gives you a totally different perspective on business matters. There are MANY "hidden" costs to operating a business that most employees never realize. (like the matching Social Security for example)

    6) I want nothing more than to IMPROVE our UNION. I totally dislike the way our UNION constantly portrays us workers. Our magazine always shows Teamster members holding picket signs with Hoffa standing in front of everyone. If the picture were black and white...and from the 50's, 60's, and 70's....then I might understand. But today is 2013 and we NEED to represent the TEAMSTERS in a much more dignified manner. We MUST start winning the PR war with the general public if Unions want to make a comeback. Did anyone view our Teamster magazine with HOFFA standing in FRONT of President Obama? How narcissistic can one be?

    7) In regard to your statement, "Scott Davis is welcome to whatever Comp package the Board decides, and the shareholders should get good dividends from their investment but if one employee or retiree has to lose so that happens, I'll welcome the chance to hold a picket sign. Enough is enough.":

    Congratulations.....you got 3 likes. UPS employees have been "losing" in ALL contracts since 1997 yet we voted to accept those contracts...hmm Just ask the part-timers who still start at $8.50 and have no family benefits for 18 months....... oh...and don't forget those part-timers who have been waiting for 10+ years to go driving but have been held back because of things like SUREPOST......(whatever happened to no subcontracting in our CURRENT agreement?).. extra volume on existing drivers (over 9.5)...harassment, intimidation, etc..

    In summary, I am not a "troll" here at BrownCafe, I am not trying to divide our Union, I simply want to stimulate some healthy debate on what can make our Union better and stronger. Unions are NOT going to get stronger by patting each other on the back for making popular statements. We MUST acknowledge and correct our weaknesses which may and most likely will include being "constructively critical" of our leaders and ourselves. This is a critical point in time for Unions in America. We MUST change the way WE are perceived by the general public. WE must convince our non-union competitors such as Fed-Ex that it would be in their best interest to join our Union. I for one, want to do more for our Union than to stand at the roadside in August with a picket sign. Healthy and productive negotiation is the only way that UPS and the Teamsters will continue to coexist now and in the future.
  14. kingOFchester

    kingOFchester Well-Known Member

    Yes. I come to that conclusion by what I see at the hub and the union hall. Union hall full of drivers, hub full of preloaders that do not even know there is a contract. The union will fight more for who is most vocal and active. Drivers. Its a shame (for the part timers) because part timers out number full timers, just not vocally.
  15. Inthegame

    Inthegame Well-Known Member

    That's it, you've used up your word allotment for the month. No more posting for you til March. Future excess word violation will require me to sew mittens on your voodoo doll thereby allowing totally non-sensical posts such as "asdfghjk or qwertyuio"...
  16. curiousbrain

    curiousbrain Well-Known Member

    I could probably be fired for doing this, but I don't really care anymore so I had a PCM with the Unload at the building where I am employed and I explained, in a brief but passionate way, that it's a contract year, and basically that to not get involved is to give up before the battle has even started; so, make some time and get involved. After the contract, if they feel that they got screwed, then they will have no one to blame but themselves if they are not involved.

    I made a choice to go into management, and part of that choice means saying and doing things that (occasionally) make me feel a little dirty, and that's my own problem. However, as the Union is not exactly strong (or present in any way, shape, or form) in the building where I am employed, I kind of feel responsible to represent the interests of my direct employees - and to that end, whenever the choice presents itself, I will encourage them to go to meetings, call the Local, do whatever it takes.

    In a nutshell: the part-timers have to get involved, or they are literally digging their own grave and standing still as UPS fills in the hole.

    edit: quote
  17. menotyou

    menotyou bella amicizia

    You are a wonderful and compassionate human being that I am glad to have had the pleasure of meeting.
    I tried to rep you, but couldn't. :dissapointed:
  18. reydluap

    reydluap Active Member

    Got ya covered me'....
  19. kingOFchester

    kingOFchester Well-Known Member

  20. tardus

    tardus New Member

    More issues than politics are involved with the Union contract; timing is important also. The Union's timing on negotiating the last contract was extraordinarily good. The contract was negotiated early and fortunately it was signed before the "great recession" hit. This time around the economy is continuing to improve with time, so an early settlement is not in the Union's best interests.