(WILMINGTON, Del.) – UPS employees and Teamster Union leaders gathered this morning outside the package giant’s annual shareholder meeting to demand lobbying disclosures and accountability at the company. A proposal co-sponsored by the Teamsters was presented in the meeting calling for transparent reporting of the company’s lobbying activity, which includes contributions to groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
“It’s time for UPS to stop wasting resources on legislative efforts that not only undercut the long-term interests of the company, but also the interests of its shareholders, many of whom are UPS employees and retirees,” said Sean O’Brien, Director of the Teamsters Package Division.
UPS does not disclose its lobbying expenditures nor offer any explanation to shareholders as to why it contributes to group like ALEC, whose agenda remains hostile to the legislative priorities of UPS and UPS Teamster members on the issues of climate change, workplace safety and workers’ rights.
“As a UPS employee, shareholder and Teamster member, I believe it’s our right to know the resources being spent on lobbying, especially if that money is going to organizations pushing for policies that hurt the company and its workforce,” said Doug Hite, a UPS driver and member of Teamsters Local 326 in New Castle, Del.
The Teamster-backed shareholder proposal calls on UPS to disclose its membership and payments to organizations that write and endorse model legislation. Over the years, dozens of companies have withdrawn from ALEC as activists have highlighted the group’s use of model bills to advance its controversial agenda in state legislatures.
UPS aircraft mechanics – members of Teamsters Local 2727 – who are fighting for a fair contract also took part in this morning’s protest outside the shareholder meeting. The mechanics came from all parts of the country to present an open letter to UPS CEO David Abney and voice their concerns to shareholders about the company’s efforts to take away their health benefits.
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.