Newsletter from former Shop Steward and Business Agent Scott Damone
There was a time, when I was a much younger man and ups enjoyed a healthy and profitable relationship with their Teamster workforce. That now seems like a hundred years ago....The company has reached new lows in their disdain for their employees and their reprehensible behavior seems to worsen by the day. Part of what makes the company successful is an ability to adapt to a changing global economy and market. Sadly, we have failed to adapt as quickly and are paying the price like never before. The international union has made it abundantly clear that their only real concern is how to protect their inflated salaries. When the rank and file make too much noise, we are reminded by our own leadership "we are the highest paid in the industry". This premise is laughable because our industry consists of a governmental agency that hemorrhages money every year, a non union carrier specializing in the delivery of envelopes, and us. Our leadership should be battling the company on every single violation and using a national campaign to educate the public about the harassment and abuse the company imposes on us every day. Instead, we have an executive board that takes its cues from the international and neither is willing to publicize this very real battle for the middle class. The changes I propose are simple. No longer should we allow negotiations and hearings to go on behind closed doors. We are going to send our leadership a packet of contract proposals and demand that they negotiate a strong contract that addresses our needs rather than the company's "need for a cost neutral agreement". We will not bow to hollow threats about robots, drones, and amazon. We must make our stand in 2018. As for the heinous hearings going on across the local every day, we need to talk about it....loudly and publicly. We just had a driver the company is trying to get rid of, so they accused him of delivering a package without scanning it and put him on notice. He went to the stop and got video from the day in question, paired that with delivery records and presented his iron clad defense at his hearing. The company chose to ignore his preponderance of evidence. We can't continue to sit back and hope we're not next. We need to take our defense out into the public. If you are injured on the job prepare a video statement. If you are given instructions that violate policies and procedure, prepare a video statement. If you are yelled at and harassed, record it. Keep notes. If you are instructed to work unsafely or to use unsafe equipment, call OSHA. If your NLRA rights are violated, file a labor charge. If your paycheck is shorted, file a charge. We need to document everything in order to protect ourselves every day. We also need to start building our national campaign for next year. Start saving some money for your personal strike funds and start taking the targets off our backs and putting them on the company. We are battling an organization of evil and next year will be one hell of a showdown. We all need to do our part.