Between UPS and the International Teamsters Brotherhood, a union statement declaring a strike by August 1 “inevitable” and demanding “the last, best, last offer” from the company by last Friday. Nonetheless, talks continued this weekend. Teamsters are now asking for a deal to be settled by July 5th.
It is the latest in a series of moves by unions aimed at deterring a strike by 340,000 workers and imposing a sell-out deal on the nation’s largest unionized private employer. By throwing out such rants, they are trying to frame their behind-the-scenes sale as the result of “hard negotiations.” The bureaucracy has also promised greater transparency in contract negotiations, initially signing non-disclosure agreements to prevent workers from learning the true nature of negotiations.
To prevent the sale, ordinary workers need to organize themselves and prepare to fight against the company and the pro-business bureaucracy, behind them the White House and the two big companies that banned the rails. A strike late last year forced the company to hire contract workers, which it had so far refused.
Friday’s deadline was the latest ‘ultimatum’, but the unions quickly scrapped it. But unions are likely to do all they can to meet the new deadline this Wednesday, to give them time to rush to push new contracts ahead of their self-declared August 1 strike deadline. expensive. Contract expires.
At the start of negotiations, the Teamsters bureaucracy declared that it would not begin negotiations on a national agreement until provisional agreements were reached on all 44 additional agreements at the local and regional levels. However, the Teamsters soon reversed. The final local deal was just signed Sunday night for 7,000 local 710 workers in Chicago. The union has not released any details about the content of the agreement, but it is strictly speaking a separate local contract rather than a supplement to the national contract. The contract covers all non-economic issues for her UPS employees in the Chicago area.
With the negotiating committee lined up behind him on Saturday, Secretary General Sean O’Brien held a short nine-minute press conference, which provided no new information to workers. O’Brien boasted that there have been “54 changes” to the contract and “zero concessions” since negotiations began, but did not specify what those changes were to back up the claim. I didn’t. “UPS is back on the table again [last week] Knowing that we were serious, we made some moves and promised to resume negotiations,” he declared. “UPS – the ball is in their court. Agreement must be reached by July 5th to get ratification before expiry date. [August 1]”
As if it was in the interests of the workers and the interests of the capitalists, Mr. O’Brien has used the vehement threats of “leaving the office on August 1st”, as well as being “responsible” and “remaining loyal to Wall Street and leading the Maine.” Instead of ‘forget the streets’, it combines an eerie appeal to UPS. A settlement could be reached through a “fair” agreement. “If they do, they are making a choice. A choice to attack themselves… UPS is responsible for shutting down the supply chain through this country,” he declared. Instead, he called on UPS to “be an example of what it means to be a good employer.”
O’Brien boasted that UPS employees have continued to work throughout the pandemic. “The only thing that remained constant was our teammates working every day and making sure the supply chain kept flowing through this country. , will end up working in these warehouses, endangering themselves, endangering their families, and some members have died because they went to work to provide these services.” The company’s profits have doubled during the pandemic, O’Brien said.
But this deplorable act of sacrificing the lives of workers for profit is wholly the responsibility of Teamster bureaucrats, forcing workers to stay on the job in a death trap. Last month, as wildfires in Canada sent dangerous levels of smoke into cities in the Midwest and Northeast of the United States, forcing workers to work in dangerous fumes and become ill, they said replayed the role.
“We were ‘heroes’ during the pandemic,” a UPS employee in Pennsylvania told WSWS. “When it started, I went from working part-time to full-time at UPS,” he said. But the warehouse’s Market Interest Rate Adjustment (MRA), which raises wages only for part-time workers, ultimately led to salary cuts at his facility. “Once I went full-time, my salary went down,” he says.
“During the pandemic, I was a package delivery driver, sometimes delivering 200 stops a day. No hazard pay. There was no 6-foot rule. [during the first years of Covid]. Overtime is still going on at my facility. “
“They just want to pay us less,” he said. “Currently, companies are laying off part-time workers and making us full-time workers work the most because our salaries are low,” he explained. The worker said that under the new proposals the company is putting forward, the maximum wage would be reduced by more than $12, effectively eliminating any salary advancement as a full-time worker.
Team officials welcome fake ‘concessions’ to mediocre drivers
On Saturday night, Teamsters claimed a big win by reaching an agreement with the company to eliminate the second-stage hybrid driver, also known as ‘22.4s’ after the terms of the contract. These drivers are paid less than regular drivers and spend more time on deliveries and working in warehouses. It also claimed that the company agreed to make Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday a paid holiday and to eliminate mandatory overtime on workers’ holidays.
A union statement declared that “this staggering gain” was made possible by “aggressive public warnings that UPS is running out of time to reach an agreement.”
“The gains the Teamsters have made on their national team…can’t be overstated,” O’Brien said. “With enough tenacity, grit and fortitude, Teamster can and will eliminate inequality at UPS,” declared union general secretary and financial officer Fred Zuckerman. bottom.
There is only one problem with this statement. 22.4 sec deletion was originally Provided by UPS In their regression economics proposal. The move was widely anticipated and didn’t save UPS as much money as it had hoped from a hybrid standpoint, according to people who spoke with the WSWS. But UPS also wants to replace 22.4 with a third tier consisting of all delivery drivers hired after August 1, with an even lower maximum wage than 22.4. Teamsters made no mention of this in its statement, nor did it say whether it had already agreed to this.
In other words, the Teamsters bureaucracy hails the terms of UPS’s own proposal as a “big win.” This is because the Teamsters’ strategy is to use angry rhetoric to push through contracts and maintain their place in the pro-business contracts they are crafting, created by bureaucratic “hard negotiations.” It is further proof that it is to be constructed as if it were a historical contract that was made. Andfile opponents are under control.
Democratic Coalition teamster covers bureaucracy
The bureaucracy commits massive fraud against UPS employees. They have carried out one sale after another for decades, but the particular technique used is a continuation of that used in O’Brien’s own 2021 general presidential campaign. A vicious ally of former President James P. Hoffa and one of the union’s top negotiators in the 2013 UPS sale, he has suddenly identified himself as a hardened, “militant” leader of the ranks. restyled to.
He received, and still receives, significant support from pseudo-leftist groups such as the Democratic Trade Union Teamsters and Labornote. He said the TDU once claimed he was fighting to “democratize” trade unions by changing officials who occupy senior seats, but is now effectively integrated with the bureaucracy.
On Friday, the Teamsters conducted “practice pickets” around the country outside of normal working hours, which TDU has been pushing for weeks, meaning operations are unaffected. Of course, many workers took part in this “exercise” because they wanted to put up a real fight. But from the bureaucracy’s point of view, the aim was to create the false impression that the bureaucracy, while mobilizing union members to strike, was doing exactly the opposite.
Crucially, TDU has quietly lowered its $25 an hour starting wage requirement for online part-timers, replacing it with a vague claim of a “substantial wage increase.” It’s a sign that the group is willing to set back workers’ expectations even a little bit ahead of a tentative agreement that falls far short of what workers want.
The TDU has held regular online meetings in recent months to torment the union bureaucracy. At a meeting on June 10, TDU national organizer David Levin claimed that O’Brien represented “new leadership, a whole different day.”
“Don’t stir up negative sentiment,” Levin said to workers angry at last month’s strike approval vote, which was forced at the last minute to curb voter turnout. Instead, “fill out the strike action form and join the ‘Make UPS Feel the Heat’ campaign,” he said.
At times, the meeting was close to a farce. It took him less than an hour, but TDU officials spent several minutes pitching the apparel and his $100-a-year TDU membership. Mr. Levin ended the meeting by announcing that he would file a whistleblower complaint so workers could “blame corporate greed.”
The June 24 meeting was even shorter than the previous one. TDU again ignored a number of questions from general workers from the venue while promoting ‘picketing practice’, which the teamsters were ‘serious’ about winning ‘honorable’ contracts. I declared that I would show this to UPS. Rob Atkinson, a 35-year Teamsters steward, articulated the view of TDU officials: [Zuckerman]”We are now on the brink of victory,” Atkinson insisted, “after decades of renegotiations under Hoffa.”
The bureaucracy cannot be “reformed” from within. Instead, workers must build alternative power structures that they control by organizing general committees in hubs across the country. These committees must expose the operation of this equipment to their colleagues, distribute information kept secret to them, and fight to shift the initiative in contract negotiations from the irresponsible equipment to the workers.
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