Are there any other areas considering the APWA? Source: Dayton Daily News UPS drivers maneuvering to create a new union By Thomas Gnau Staff Writer Saturday, May 19, 2007 DAYTON — — A group of United Parcel Service drivers are maneuvering to exit the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and create a new union. Drivers like Rick Ford, who drives a semi to Chicago each night from West Carrollton, is an organizer for a union branding itself the Association of Parcel Workers of America. For Ford, 48, the impetus to leave the Teamsters comes down to what he contends is a faulty pension system — the Central States Fund. If he retired tomorrow, Ford says he would receive nothing, though he has been an UPS driver for 29 years. Ford will have to wait until he is 65 before retiring, said Van Skillman, APWA president and organizer. With APWA, Ford says, "No. 1, the money you have going toward your pension, you're going to get 100 percent, almost 100 percent, of your money." But there are other issues at work, APWA organizers say. It's also about medical insurance, which is less of an issue in Ohio, where UPS provides generous health insurance, said Skillman, 50, a 28-year UPS driver based in Greensboro, N.C. APWA supporters challenge the quality of Teamsters representation. Messages were left for a Teamsters spokesman in Washington, D.C. and an officer of Teamsters Local 957, Ford's union. Ford, an APWA organizer since March 2005, says driver signatures for union organization cards have been collected in 29 states. Ford declined to say how many signatures he has locally, but he said 75 percent of drivers at the UPS depot in West Carrollton have signed cards, as well 85 percent of Dayton-based drivers. Ninety-five percent of drivers have signed up in both Springfield and Hamilton, he said. Skillman thinks a National Labor Relations Board-overseen election will be held this fall, perhaps in September or October. "We didn't really understand the amount of support we had until we started getting these cards signed," Skillman said. The drive seems to have gotten notice. This week, UPS said it is willing to jointly manage a new pension plan with the Teamsters as a way to leave the Central States Fund, the (Louisville) Courier-Journal reported. UPS has a national sorting hub in Louisville. "It's pretty obvious that Atlanta (UPS corporate headquarters) has finally done its homework," Skillman said. "The company has nothing to say about this organizing drive or anything about the Teamsters," said Norman Black, a UPS spokesman in Atlanta. "Our employees make their own decisions about union representation."