Our UPS members’ jobs are under threat from new business models and non-union competition in the package industry. The Nor Cal Committee is looking seriously at these threats so that we can best protect our members at UPS.
Everyone needs to know that the US Postal Service is now the largest package carrier in the US, with most of its employees working part-time for $15/hour with virtually no benefits. And these wages are subsidized by our tax dollars. This is not fair competition!
Ontrac is another competitor. Their shipping rates are 40% of what UPS charges and they use owner-operators as drivers and pay per package. They are also in the air business. With owner-operators, you have 1099 employees; the employer pays no taxes, Social Security, Medicare, health and welfare, pension, etc. These are misclassified workers; they should be company employees.
Amazon now delivers packages using logistic companies that pay about $13.50/hour with no benefits.
The worst of the worst, companies like UBER, are getting into the package delivery business with their illegal business model undercutting everyone else. This business model is devised to avoid taxes, workers compensation, and benefits. We cannot compete unless the playing field is leveled.
Let’s look at UPS. A full-time driver who has completed progression makes over $34 per hour, around $10/hour in pension and $11/hour in health and welfare. Add vacation, holidays, sick leave, taxes, Social Security, Medicare, and workers compensation, the total package comes to about $65 per hour. For part-time employees with a 3.5 hour work guarantee, the total package is about $50/hour.
The solution as we see it is twofold:
1. Political: We have to work on legislation so that all companies work on a level playing field. The business models of Uber/alleged broker owner operators need to be changed to be the same as UPS where the company is responsible for its employees, wages, benefits, taxes, Social Security, Medicare etc. not the business model that puts all the responsibility on the employee and pay no taxes or benefits.
2. Organize/Demonstrate: The Nor Cal Committee is pro-active. We will be proposing to the members to vote for a supplemental dues of $.10 per straight time hour to be matched by the UPS Local Union Officers’ of $.10 per hour. This money will go to a special account with Joint Council 7 with a regular accounting. The Nor Cal committee will control the monies and we will hire one organizer with experience. All other organizers will be UPS members, Shop Stewards and active members to be determined by each Local Union. Strategies will be developed to organize, demonstrate, etc. to protect our industry. The Committee believes we have no choice but to move forward with this project because we have to provide the leadership to get it done.