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.
First of all, I want to thank Paul Borsman for all of his hard work in building and maintaining the stony brook center website for all these years. He is a truly wonderful, dedicated man and we will miss him. Next order of business relates to the center. I can't emphasize enough the importance in doing the job the right way. The company has proven that they have zero respect for their union workforce and zero compassion for the hard-working employees that pay their salaries. An all out war is looming and there will be more casualties, but we need to reduce the chances of being fired by following the rules. No shortcuts, no cheating, no bullshit. Lastly, I want to address bigger picture issues. Across the local and across the country, the company is rolling over the union. Last year's local election was decided by only 70 votes. If only 36 people had voted differently, the results would have been flipped.....what does this mean ? EVERY vote matters !!! We will be harassing you guys for the next few weeks and all I can say is, it's for your own good. There are too many people that don't take the 2 minutes needed to fill out the ballot and mail it back, free of charge ! This is not how a democracy is supposed to work and it's not acceptable. Every one of us will vote and I hope every one of our votes is for Fred Zuckerman and Teamsters United. We can't survive much longer at this rate and we need to end the corruption- concessions connection at the IBT. Talk to your neighbors on the line, talk to your buddies at lunch, talk to your loaders, talk to anyone you see that isn't part of the nazi management team. It's too important to let even one vote slip by............vote !!!!