UPS Negotiations Update – Stand Up and Be Counted

Many of you have asked the question: what is going on? Here are some highlights that might interest you.

On April 18th and 19th, 2013 your Committee and Negotiators from UFCW Local 401 met with the Company to proceed in negotiating you a fair contract. The meeting was held up because of issues that related to the unfair treatment of your Negotiating Committee.  

We went through trying to solve those issues that quite frankly should not have been brought forward such as unfair lay offs and transfers of your bargaining committee (which we believe was highly suspect). We believe the Company was trying to weaken the strength of your Committee.  It has become apparent that your Committee has been targeted to slow down their continued efforts to reach a fair economic contract that all members in UPS deserve. In saying that, the Committee was undeterred -- the issues have only made them stronger.

One Guard said “We have put up with the unfair treatment of Guards, the Company trying to set up a bogus Union (STEU) and seeing lots of our co-workers and friends vanish from our work place because of unfair treatment and discrimination” (the worker did not want to be identified as he feared appraisals from the Company) he went on to say “It has been almost 2 years fighting for our rights to have Union representation for fair wages, respect and dignity and if we can not proceed I will be definitely be voting for a strike because the Employer just doesn’t get it”.

 

The Last Straw 

While in negotiations, the Company saw fit to hand out a letter with the reimbursement of Union dues (dated: April 15th, 2013 signed by Curtis Long, Executive Vise President of UPS), making a lot of profound statements that quite frankly didn’t make sense as during negotiations he said on many occasions that he was willing to work with the Union in negotiating a Collective Agreement. This letter infuriated the negotiating committee and the Company could not explain the letter. At that point, chief negotiator Tom Hesse asked UPS to leave. Your Union committee has had enough of this Employer talking out of two sides of its mouth and directed the Union to proceed to Mediation. One of your committee members stated “I want to show the Employer we mean business and I will go out on strike if need be to make this Employer realize our co-workers have had enough”. 

On April 22nd, 2013 the Union applied for Mediation and for a Mediator to become involved in these negotiations. Under the labour laws of Alberta, this is the next step that must be completed before a strike can be taken. The Mediator will try to help the two parties reach an agreement. If this can not be accomplished, the Mediator will write a “no recommendation” report and apply a cooling off period of 14 days. Then the Guards may strike the Employer.  

The strike is the last resort to try to convince your Employer that the Guards are fed up with the unfair treatment, low pay, and lack of respect that they deserve. The Committee understands how frustrated the workers have been, but asked that you support your Committee in trying to reach an agreement with this Employer. The Committee would ask that we stay strong and keep everyone informed if they are being treated unfairly. 

 

Union Negotiating Committee