The Teamsters Union has begun preparing for negotiations scheduled to begin early next year. They are intent on undoing parts of the current contract, set to expire next July, that deal with pay scales and working conditions and are a sore point with the membership.
For the first time, rank and file members of the union will join the union team at the bargaining table. The team will be led by Teamsters newly elected president Sean O’Brien who has shortened the time frame for the talks to prevent the company from dragging them out, a favorite tactic of management. He has threatened a strike if an agreement is not reached in that time.
Among the issues the union is seeking to undo are:
—A class of drivers, hired in the past four years that are paid at a lower rate even though they perform the same jobs.
—Excessive overtime – Assigning drivers to overtime shifts for Saturday deliveries, with longer days and more stops.
—Company use of temporary workers to make deliveries using their own cars, a device the union calls “outsourcing” and “sub-contracting.”
—A raise for par-time workers to a starting rate of $20/hour and more opportunities for part-time workers to become full-time.
–Another big issue arose this summer after heat waves across the country took the life of one driver and hospitalized many others. The union is demanding the installation of air conditioning in UPS trucks to protect the health ad safety of its drivers.