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  • Teamsters Local 89 – Official Statement on UPS Contract
    Updated On: Oct 08, 2018

    Oct 08, 2018 -

    PREAMBLE – Teamsters Local 89 completely opposes the IBT’s decision to ratify and implement the UPS Contract. It is a vile, reprehensible, and abhorrent act that will damage the very foundation of our Union for decades to come. This action by the IBT will haunt the Teamsters and the Labor Movement and is a betrayal of everything we stand for.

    Teamsters Local 89 asks all our UPS members, and those of every Local across America, to call the International Brotherhood of Teamsters headquarters in Washington D.C. by dialing (202) 624-6800 on Tuesday, October 9th and demand that General President Hoffa respect the 54% rejection of the UPS National Master Agreement, and all other Supplements and Riders that were rejected.

    ______________________________________________________________________________

    On Friday night UPS Teamsters across the country participated in an historic rejection of the UPS National Master Agreement (NMA), a feat which has never before happened. The NMA, which was voted on by approximately 92,000 members nationwide, was rejected by 54%.

    While this should have been cause for celebration, as the NMA was riddled with concessions such as the much maligned two-tier “hybrid” drivers, the joy was short lived. Later Friday night, the IBT Package Division issued a statement via their UPS Rising app and website declaring the National Master Agreement ratified despite the 54% no vote.

    Last Thursday, Teamsters Local 89 alerted our members to a statement made by IBT Package Division Director Denis Taylor at the UPS National Grievance Panels. Taylor had said he intended to implement the contract if less than 50% of eligible voters participated, or the contract was not rejected by a 2/3rds majority of those who voted. Despite massive blowback all across social media to this news, late Friday night Taylor chose to do the unthinkable and declared the UPS NMA ratified.

    In its statement, the IBT points to a questionable interpretation of Article 12, Section 2 of the Teamsters Constitution and claims that they have no choice but to ratify the UPS contract. This is simply not true, as that same section also provides the IBT the option of going back to the table to negotiate additional provisions. While Taylor has stated that he will meet with the Company to attempt improvements, he also informed observers at the vote count that there would be no further votes on the Contract. This coupled with the fact that the IBT has publicly stated that they consider the NMA to be ratified makes it difficult to see what sort of leverage they will have against the Company going forward.

    Further diluting the IBT’s argument that they must ratify and implement the Contract is an article in the Constitution that our members at UPS Worldport should be familiar with. Article 12, Section 6 states “The General Executive Board is empowered to amend, delete, or add to this Article if at any time it believes such action will be in the interests of the International Union or its subordinate bodies.”

    This section is the language that the IBT infamously used in 2013 to implement the Louisville Air Rider, as well as contracts in Philadelphia and Western Pennsylvania. But in this case, the IBT GEB could absolutely use this language to declare the UPS NMA to be rejected, and to send the National Negotiating Committee (NNC) back to negotiations in advance of a second vote. The fact that General President Hoffa has not done so only proves that this is not a hands-tied scenario, it is a conscious choice being made by the IBT to ignore and invalidate the will of their membership. It is abhorrent, it is wrong, and it cannot be forgiven.

    On the Local level, the Louisville Air Rider was also rejected by 58%. Although Local 89 had recommended a yes vote on this agreement, we respect the will of our members and have no issue in returning to negotiations with the Company.

    Unfortunately, after several days of silence, Taylor and the IBT have informed us that they consider ALL agreements related to UPS to be ratified unless they reached the 50% voter or 2/3rds rejection threshold. As the Louisville Air Rider did not meet that criteria, the IBT considers the Louisville Air Rider, as well as the Central Region Supplement and several other area or local supplements, to be ratified.

    Teamsters Local 89 stands completely opposed to this gross overreach of the IBT’s authority. Should the International go through with this, it will mark the second time they have imposed a contract on Local 89 members after a majority rejection, and under protest from our Local Union.

    There are still questions that must be answered, and in typical fashion the IBT is not being very forthcoming about where the process goes from here. Teamsters Local 89 is working with several other Local Unions across the country to research whether there are any options we have to prevent this farce from continuing.

    As of right this moment there seems to be only one clear way for this situation to change; General President Hoffa should call an emergency meeting of the General Executive Board (GEB) and put forth a motion to declare the UPS NMA, and all supplements and riders that were voted down, to be rejected and order Taylor and the NNC back into a second round of negotiations with UPS. Teamsters Local 89 Vice President, who is a duly elected Central Region Vice President on the GEB, has already called on General President Hoffa to do just that, as have several other GEB members.

    General President Hoffa, you are faced with a choice. You can do the right thing and listen to the will of your members across the nation, or you can ignore and betray them and all that our Union is supposed to stand for.

    Teamsters Local 89 asks all our UPS members, and those of every Local across America, to call the International Brotherhood of Teamsters headquarters in Washington D.C. by dialing (202) 624-6800 on Tuesday, October 9th and demand that General President Hoffa respect the 54% rejection of the UPS National Master Agreement, and all other Supplements and Riders that were rejected.


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