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Hoffa, Taylor seek to impose rejected UPS supplements

By Gage Lacharite |
March 15, 2019
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Tampa, FL - On March 7, Dennis Taylor, chief negotiator for Teamster contract negotiations with UPS, announced that local supplements for Detroit Local 243 and Western Pennsylvania would be forced through. This spits in the face of a resounding no vote from UPS Teamsters. Just days earlier, votes came in showing that UPS Teamsters in Detroit and Western Pennsylvania had rejected their local supplements by a staggering 88.3% and 96.4% respectively.

Unlike the national contract and other local supplements which were pushed through under an obscure two-thirds rule loophole, Teamsters voted well over 66.7% against these supplements. Taylor claims that the union simply cannot make greater demands of the company in negotiations and that they have no choice but to accept these offers.

To do this, Taylor and Hoffa are going before the General Executive Board of the Teamsters to amend the constitution. Members of the board, including candidate for Teamsters President in 2021 Sean O’Brien, are rallying to uphold the votes of the membership and to direct Taylor to continue negotiations.

Last October, the company attempted to blackmail UPS Teamsters by declaring that a rejection of their local supplement would lead to a weaker second offer. After UPSers in both places defiantly rejected it, Taylor cut off the bargaining process, granting UPS carte blanche to carry out its threats. This essentially punishes rank-and-file Teamsters who dared to stand up to a concession-riddled contract, pushed by the Teamster President Jimmy Hoffa Jr. arm-in-arm with the company.

Teamsters across the country will be hurt by this direct attack on their livelihood. At the same time, UPS and other companies that employ Teamsters can rest easy knowing that they can rely on leaders like Taylor and Hoffa to carry out their plans for increasing exploitation of their workforce. It’s up to the membership to hold leadership accountable, with the 2021 election for Teamsters General President as a key site of struggle.