Union Perseveres to Win Grievance After National Panel Deadlock
Teamsters Local 710 UPS Freight Business Agents Ted Barnhart and John “Shaggy” Rule settled a grievance after it was deadlocked at the National Panel last month, securing a substantial pay increase and three-and-a-half months of back pay for Louis Bustamantez, a dockworker in Franklin Park, Ill.
Prior to going to arbitration, the company offered to come to a resolution with the union, agreeing that Bustamantez should be earning $6 more per hour than he had been and also awarding him the back pay.
In 2015, Bustamantez was blindsided by UPS Freight after a change of operations ultimately resulted in a significant pay cut when he was moved from a part-time position in Bedford Park to a full-time position in Franklin Park.
"It was flat out wrong what they did to Lou, and we were not going to stand for it," said Barnhart. "The company told him that his pay would be frozen at his current rate, but it quickly plummeted."
Bustamantez had originally filed a grievance in 2015 prior to Barnhart and Rule joining the staff at Local 710, and it did not make it through the grievance procedure. Barnhart was extremely bothered with that, so he refiled it in December 2016, pushing it to be heard at the Regional Panel the following February. It was deadlocked. Afterwards, the company offered Bustamantez a $2 per hour increase in his wages.
“I said I had to bring the offer back to Lou, but that there was no way in hell we were going to accept that,” Barnhart added. “In our experience, Shaggy and I knew that with an offer like that at that time, we had them. Lou agreed, so we stuck to our guns.”
The grievance was heard at the National Panel in June, where it was deadlocked to arbitration and settled prior to going to arbitration.
“I can tell my fellow members: Trust your Business Agent,” said Bustamantez. “This was a long battle, but I know that because of the union, I got more than if I had to do this myself. It’s outstanding. Ted and Shaggy have been paying a lot of attention to the dock out here, and we really like that — it’s something we didn’t see before they came around.”
Local 710 represents hundreds of UPS Freight drivers, dockworkers and clerks at facilities in South Holland, Bedford Park, Franklin Park and Palatine, Ill.