Settling UPS contract— our largest in the country

By Dave Hawley —

UPS, the Teamsters’ largest single nationwide contract, is going out to vote as we go to press. This five-year agreement is the most lucrative offer ever negotiated, providing a $4.15 wage increase, with another $5.00 an hour to fund our superior health benefits and grow our pension. The tentative offer also includes new protections on harassment, safety, and forced overtime.

With the advent of significant competition from non-union package delivery companies and owner-operators using the Uber model, this agreement creates a new entry level job classification called Combination Driver. Much of the work to be performed by this new classification was formerly done by part-time Utility or Cover Drivers with part-time benefits. This change will allow for seven day a week delivery, while protecting the Monday through Friday work week for our current drivers and adding overtime protection. This is not a traditional two-tier system; these new jobs will top out in the first year at more than $31/hour with full time benefits and the rights to bid into the top tier package, clerk and feeder positions. These new combo jobs will be limited to 25% of the workforce; as the Company grows so will the top-paying package jobs.

Our NorCal Negotiating Committee did a great job negotiating the supplemental language in our Nor Cal Supplement and Rider, protecting our current full-time package work, with work rules protections for these new combo drivers.

This tentative agreement comes with the full recommendation of the International, the Northern California Negotiating Committee, and the Joint Council Executive Board. All agree it will keep UPS competitive to grow our membership while protecting the integrity of our very strong current agreement. Unfortunately, some in our union are using this agreement for their own political gain. A “vote no” movement tied to the next IBT national election was created even before the negotiations got underway. I find it funny that they were holding vote no demonstrations when they had no idea what they were voting no on.

The ballots should be counted the week of October 8.

California wild fires impact Teamsters

As you know, this has been a terrible year for forest fires in Northern California. In my Local, the Carr Fire claimed eight members’ homes, with many evacuated for days, and even weeks. The Joint Council provided immediate assistance, delivering more than 30,000 bottles of water for distribution to workers and victims of the fire. Another truckload of water was donated and delivered for the Mendocino Complex Fire. In addition, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Disaster Relief Fund made a generous donation to the victims who lost homes. As I write this article, several new major fires are burning in our jurisdiction. Joint Council 7 stands ready and willing to provide additional assistance.

Register and Vote

The upcoming mid-term election could be a game changer. It is imperative that all our members and your families participate. If you are not registered, do it today.

The Joint Council’s endorsements are listed on the next page for federal and state offices. These all come from extensive interviews with the candidates about issues that impact working people. We will also have endorsements on hundreds of local races—check our website:  to find our recommendations.

Again, please take the time to vote in this important election.

Jason Rabinowitz, President