Knowledge is power and this year for 623 Day we made sure to talk to as many members as possible about the upcoming contract fight with UPS.
2023 Contract negotiations will be here soon and we need to be prepared. Through surveys and interviews, we’ve identified the most pressing Contract issues. And in the coming weeks and months the Local 623 Rank-and-File Committee will continue to host educational days to help members learn about the biggest weaknesses in the UPS contract and how to fix them.
On 623 Day the Committee was out at both buildings before all shifts handing out literature and talking to members about THREE BIG contract issues:
The 22.4 Scam:
In 2018 UPS won a major concession. The Company fought to make new combination driver jobs permanent. These jobs, called “22.4 Drivers”, do the SAME WORK as package drivers at LOWER PAY, plus these drivers must work weekends, and NO 9.5 PROTECTIONS from excessive overtime. 22.4 Teamsters are trapped.
Because the deal allows these drivers to be paid at a lower rate, the Company has a cheaper alternative to hiring more regular package drivers. As a result, Management has shifted more volume to Saturdays and forced more drivers in. Overloading the weekends with packages while sending regular package car drivers home on weekdays isn’t a mistake, its part of the Company’s plan to make weekend work mandatory and expand the use of 22.4s.
Subcontracting is rampant in UPS. Feeder departments all over the country have reported subcontractor loads coming into and out of UPS facilities. These NON-UNION subcontractors suck work from Teamster drivers. Worse, they introduce lower safety standards and put downward pressure on wages. Subcontracting scabs is the Company’s weapon of choice for avoiding their contractual responsibilities. If we don’t fix the subcontracting language in our contract it won’t be long until package driving and even some warehouse work is also subcontracted to the lowest bidder.
The Low Wage Trap:
Part-timers at UPS make well below a family sustaining living wage. In fact, wages are so low for these workers that the Company has had trouble keeping the building staffed. That’s why during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic UPS was forced to introduce massive wage increases across the board.
With so-called Market Rate Adjustments (MRAs) UPS bumped entry level wages up almost 40% in some instances just to be able to staff the building. Not only did these wage increases work to keep workers on the job and build up the workforce, UPS made BILLIONS IN RECORD PROFITS while MRA wages were in effect. But huge profits didn’t stop them from slashing wages back down to contract minimums the moment the package volume let up.
We have a chance to fix these issues in 2023, but only if our membership is ENGAGED, INFORMED, and EDUCATED. We need everyone to get involved.