The International Brotherhood of Teamsters now represents nearly all of the 12,600 UPS Freight drivers and dockworkers eligible to join the union, announced Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa.
Nearly 100 workers in Nebraska, Maryland and Kansas recently signed authorization cards to become Teamsters. In Omaha, Neb., 55 workers represented by Local 554 recently ratified their first-ever contract unanimously. The Federalsburg, Md., and Wichita, Kan., workers will be holding ratification votes soon.
The Teamsters kicked off the organizing campaign in 2006 when the union organized UPS Freight (formerly Overnite Transportation) workers in Indianapolis and negotiated a contract with the company that was ratified by a 107-1 vote in October 2007. The Teamsters won a card-check agreement from UPS in December 2007, and in January 2008, launched its nationwide campaign.
By November 2008, the Teamsters represented more than 12,400 UPS Freight workers in 42 states. The Teamsters now represent all but two UPS Freight locations that employ 50 workers
“Our continued success to organize UPS Freight workers is a great victory,” Hoffa said. “They were determined to become Teamsters and we are proud to have them among our ranks.”
“These drivers and dockworkers have shown a great commitment to joining the Teamsters and we look forward to representing them,” said Teamsters Package Division Director Ken Hall. “We encourage UPS Freight workers who have not yet signed cards to do so now so they can also start benefiting from a great contract.”
James Sheard, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 554 in Omaha said the UPS Freight workers ratified their contract on Oct. 4.
“After they saw the benefits of being a Teamster at other locations around the country, they decided to get on board,” Sheard said.
Jesse Castillo, President of Local 795 in Wichita, said the 20 UPS Freight workers there realized that not being a Teamster meant inequality for them.
“They saw inequities in applications and work rules because they were not under a Teamster contract,” Castillo said.
Irvin Williams, Vice-President of Local 355 in Baltimore, said the 20 UPS Freight workers at the Federalsburg facility came aboard after seeing a big increase in insurance costs.
“We had a gentleman who was ready to retire but said he couldn’t because of the insurance costs,” Williams said. “We also had key people who worked very hard on this campaign.”
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.