UPS LCH Specialists and Admins Join Teamsters Local 89
Updated On: Oct 304, 2023
UPS received a frightening Halloween surprise today when over thirty Specialists and Admins at the Louisville Centennial Hub voted by a significant 72% margin to join Teamsters Local 89.
"We're proud to welcome the LCH Specialists and Admins into our family," said President Avral Thompson. "UPS has spent years lying to these folks and telling them they didn't have the right to join a union, and we just proved them wrong."
The vote took place over three-time blocks on Monday, October 30th and ended at midnight, with the ballots being counted in the early hours of Tuesday, October 31st. This victory was the result of months of hard work and dedication from a top-tier team at Local 89 that included many of our officers, agents, organizing, legal and communications staff, stewards, and rank-and-file volunteers.
It all began with UPS LCH maintenance steward Bryan Tucker, who approached Local 89 organizers about conversations he had been having with the Specialists and Admins he worked around.
"Sometimes all it takes to get the ball rolling is one steward or member who understands that non-union people they know could have better lives," said Organizer David Thornsberry. "Tucker came to us because he thought Local 89 could make a difference for these people, and he's been instrumental in helping get us to the finish line ever since."
This organizing drive began early in 2023 with just a few conversations, and slowly built momentum through the year until Local 89 had a firm majority of organizing cards signed. With those in hand, our union approached UPS to let them know we intended to represent these workers. As was expected by their decades-long position, UPS immediately claimed that Specialists and Admins were considered supervisors, and therefore were ineligible to be in a union. In fact, UPS was so sure of their position that they agreed to let the matter be decided by a neutral arbitrator. Just a few short weeks ago, after hearing testimony and evidence from both sides, the arbitrator rendered his binding decision which affirmed what Local 89 had known all along; Specialists and Admins did not perform any duties that would classify them as supervisors and exclude them from the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), and that they did in fact have the right to join the Teamsters.Following that landmark decision, an election process and date was quickly set, ultimately ending in today's vote count and victory for workers.
"Leading up to the elections, UPS did everything they could to scare these workers out of voting to unionize," said Organizer Bryan Trafford. "They told them they'd all lose their jobs, or that they'd be reclassified and no longer allowed to do the work they currently do. UPS broke the law over and over again with these kinds of threats, but what they didn't break was these workers' spirits."
As evidenced by the results of the ballot count, UPS failed in their illegal and overt attempts to coerce and dissuade the Specialists and Admins at LCH from voting to become Teamsters.
“We’re proud of the Specialists and Admins for not falling for the lies UPS was telling them,” said Secretary-Treasurer Jeff Cooper. “Our goal now is to negotiate these folks into the UPS National Master Agreement, with additional language to address the concerns that are specific to their jobs and to protect their positions in those jobs.”
We would like to thank and recognize everyone in our Local Union who was actively involved in this historic organizing victory at UPS LCH including President Avral Thompson, Secretary-Treasurer Jeff Cooper, General Counsel Cody Hibbard, Organizers David Thornsberry and Bryan Trafford, Business Agent Mike Hinton, Communications Director Stephen Piercey, Steward Bryan Tucker, and a host of rank-and-file volunteers including Matt Ward (RCS KTP Rail Loader), Melodee Mattingly (UPS Feeder Driver), Keaton Miller (UPS Mechanic), Tiffany Kelly (Caesars Slot Representative) and many others.
We’d also like to give a special shout out to several UPS members who filmed videos of support for the LCH Specialists and Admins, including Marsha Duncan (UPS Feeder Driver), and Danielle Saunders, Miranda Franzman, and Charlie Fitzgibbon all of whom are from the International Import/Export department at UPS Worldport.
Finally, the most important thanks must be given to the Specialists and Admins themselves, especially those who helped spearhead the campaign, for taking this brave and monumental step forward to improve their lives. Some of these workers, like Specialists Pete Hinton and Patrick Barbee, and Admins Teresa Ater, Erich Bauer, and Ashley Becker, even went the extra mile and agreed to be on film explaining why they were voting yes to help encourage their co-workers to join the fight.
Teamsters Local 89 intends to get right to work planning proposal meetings and dates for negotiations, but for now we just want to say congratulations to the LCH Specialists and Admins, and welcome to the strongest and proudest Teamsters family there is!