Monday, October 08, 2018


In a huge win for rank and file insurgents Teamsters for a Democratic Union, a majority of UPS Teamsters in the package division who cast a ballot voted to reject a proposed new contract. This is big labor victory for dissidents in the union. However, in a bigger loss for those dissidents, the union's lead negotiator Denis Taylor said that the contract has been ratified because 2/3 didn't vote against the deal, only 54% said no. Their constitution is even more undemocratic than ours in the UFT. Since only 46% of the membership voted, the majority no vote doesn't count.

It isn't just teachers who are saying no to their undemocratic union leaders.

From Teamsters for a Democratic Union:
If the (Teamsters President James Hoffa Jr.) administration disregards the No Vote and ratifies the contract, it will be giving a gift to union-busters everywhere by telling workers inside and outside our union that Teamster leaders don’t listen to the members.
The General Executive Board should hold an emergency meeting to resolve this crisis.

General President Hoffa has the authority under the Constitution to respect the majority vote of the members, remove Taylor as the union negotiator, return to the bargaining table, and order a contract vote once a new offer has been reached. Any other outcome will betray the members and weaken our union. 

In a separate ballot which turned out to be an old fashion contract rejection vote, the smaller UPS Freight Teamsters voted down their contract with a 62% no vote and over half of them voted so their NO vote stands.

Again, from TDU:
Hoffa Games or a Real Contract Fight?

Now that this weak deal has been rejected, the danger is that the Hoffa administration will delay negotiations, play games, and try to wear down the members. We can’t let that happen.

Our union has leverage to win a good contract. The No Vote increases our leverage even more. UPS is making record profits. The economy is strong and there is a nationwide shortage of truck drivers.

The IBT promised an end to subcontracting. UPS Freight Teamsters will unite behind a contract that protects jobs, wages, and strengthens our union.

We expect wage increases which keep up with inflation, not chump change.

Excuses about UPS Freight paying more than nonunion carriers don’t cut it. We are Teamsters and expect to be paid more than nonunion. UPS is the biggest transportation company in the world. It’s time to make them deliver.

Let’s get organized, get united, and win.

It is hard to see UPS trying to impose a contract on everyone else after this rejection. The problem for the workers, like us, is their union leadership needs to support the rank and file.

New York City teachers and other UFT members have plenty to be angry about when it comes to our working conditions: Raises that don't keep up with inflation, healthcare givebacks, an evaluation system based on student scores on invalid tests and a misused Danielson Framework, large class sizes, endless probation for too many non tenured teachers, abusive administrators in a large number of schools, Absent Teacher Reserves and more.

Teachers and other working people around the country are fighting back, even if they have to battle their union leaders.

When are all of us going to stop complaining and join the struggle?


Anonymous said...

Can you please lay out in practical terms for you readers what we can do to join this struggle against what the union and the city are doing to us?

James Eterno said...

Fist, spread the word to people in your schools about what reality is with the UFT.

Second, stand up for your rights at school. That is called leading by example.

Third, the next ICEUFT meeting is November 2. Why not have some new people show up? MORE is holding a contract convention on October 27. Show up. Learn about New Action or Solidarity. Find out about their meetings and attend one.

Fourth, start your own group and cut out the middleman if you don't like any of the existing groups.

Fifth, spread the word on social media.

Sixth, distribute literature to your school and maybe a few others, particularly around election time in the spring.

Seventh, question Unity reps when they come to your school.

Eighth, vote.

Together, we can make gains but it is up to all of us, not Norm and me and a bunch of activists.


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