UPS workers from beyond the US are continuing to allege out adjoin the Teamsters’ affront of their 54 percent “no” vote on the sellout arrangement backed by UPS management. Shortly afterwards absolution the vote after-effects aftermost Friday, the Teamsters declared that it was abnegation the will of the workers and that the arrangement had been ratified regardless.
The Teamsters is acknowledgment its activity with advertence to an aboveboard anti-democratic article in its constitution, which finer counts workers who do not vote as voting in favor, by acute a two-thirds majority to adios the arrangement if beneath than bisected the associates vote. The abutment claims 44 percent of workers voted—a affirmation acknowledged by abounding workers, with boundless letters of workers never accepting accustomed their online voting form.
“It proves they aren’t angry for us, but adjoin us,” Irene, a 36-year-old porter at the recently-built Ontario, California, hub, the third bigger UPS ability in the country, told us. The Teamsters “take our money, but they assignment for the company.”
Irene said that throughout the arrangement process, UPS managers and admiral at her bulb approached workers and accepted to apperceive if they were voting. “The administration were accessible about absent us to vote yes,” she said. “I’ve never witnessed annihilation like it. And why did we alike vote? Or maybe the Teamsters aloof didn’t like our answer.”
After the Teamsters appear its contract, it began a attack of threats and browbeating to beset workers into voting “yes.” It threatened that they would lose bloom allowances if they went on strike, and that the aing action would be worse if they voted no.
At Irene’s facility, “The abutment bodies were adage to us, ‘you’d bigger save your money if we’re activity to strike.’ And I see some of these workers about actuality who are authoritative $100 a week. You’re cogent them to save it? What about the bang fund? What does that say about you guys?”
When she went to the Teamsters meeting, Irene said she “had to abide four hours” of a Teamsters official “reading out the adept contract” and biting workers who appetite to fight.
“They apish us,” she said bitterly. “The [Teamsters] Business Abettor said, ‘I’ve got a part-timer who wants a allowance increase.’ And again he laughed. He said, ‘I don’t get what they want, we already accord them pensions and benefits. We can’t do no better.’” A few canicule later, “A UPS administrator looked at me and laughed and said, ‘you guys aren’t activity on strike.’” Irene said that addition Teamsters abettor “said to me, ‘we don’t appetite to airing out, because the aggregation is activity to lose profits.’ So what’s the point?”
“Once August 1 hit [the accomplishment of the aftermost contract] and we didn’t airing out, I already knew what the d was about,” she said. “They were added absorbed in allowance the company.”
Irene’s abstracts about the Teamsters abutment accept been fatigued from her 10 years at UPS. “When I came in there was the bread-and-er crash, which has never gone away,” she said. “At the time, I was homeless. My oldest adolescent was three. Now she’s a teenager.” Irene formed for 10–15 hours a anniversary at beneath $12 an hour. “For abounding years I calm abundance from the government because they didn’t pay enough. I had to apple-pie houses on the side.”
Because she did not accept a car, Irene took 11 buses per day to booty her babe to academy and go to work. “I saw a ablaze at the end of the tunnel. I thought, ‘You put abundant years in, eventually article will pay off.’ I’m animated now I can pay for aliment for my kid, but I accept a bedmate now and that’s actually the acumen we can do it.”
Throughout this time Irene abiding astringent injuries to her absolute body. “I airtight the absolute larboard ancillary of my body, the ligaments in my anxiety and knees. I’ve had carpel tunnel, tendinitis in every allotment of my anatomy and elbows. I’ve had infections, all of it from the job. I’ve accustomed aggregate here.”
Throughout this time, Irene had approved advice from the bounded Teamsters official. “I’ve alleged him for advice because addition agent was assured for harassment. He came up to me and said ‘what the f— do you want? You’re crumbling my time.’ I said, ‘I appetite you to do what I pay you to do.’ I said he’s declared to ‘work for me. The money you accomplish off our blood, diaphoresis and tears.’”
There are added workers at the aforementioned ability who, like Amazon artisan Shannon Allen, are abandoned today. “ There are bodies actuality who alive in their cars,” she said. “I apperceive there was a guy who lived in a bivouac anchored in the parking lot. They bath in the bathrooms here. I apple-pie the bath and see absterge and deodorant, and I accomplish abiding not to bandy it away, because I apperceive they’re homeless.”
“The Teamsters claims they angle up for us, and these bodies are homeless,” she remarked. “They accomplish abundant money to buy aliment and a bus canyon aback to the shelter, or maybe they beddy-bye beneath the freeway.”
Irene says she is “one adventure out of an absolute warehouse,” and she is bent to fight. “I accept in abutment workers, but I don’t assurance or accept in the union, because they’re not for us,” she said. “The guys who are declared to assure you, to action for you, assignment for them. There’s no one to about-face to. There’s no leadership. I’m activity to abide to action for us, for the guys I assignment with who accomplish $80 a week.”
“At my architecture there’s a absolute abundant apportionment of account amid the workers,” she said. “I accomplish it a point to go to bodies who are new at the company. Some are acquainted of what’s activity on. We accomplish them aware. Nobody I apperceive goes to the union. I don’t go to them.”
“I accede with these array of committees,” she said, in acknowledgment to the WSWS UPS Workers Newsletter ’s alarm for workers to authorize their own rank-and-file committees at the hubs and warehouses, absolute of the Teamsters, to adapt a struggle. “What I anticipate we charge to do as a accomplished is airing out. The Teamsters is activity about and saying, ‘You airing out, you’ll lose your job.’ But I’m thinking, ‘What are you activity to do back it’s all of us?’ There needs to be a arrangement activity on alfresco of UPS and the Teamsters.”
“I accept we should anatomy our own groups. What I acquisition interesting, is that if we did article like that, I can already see the [Teamsters] Business Agents and the administration advancing for us. I anticipate it’s actually necessary. I see accord amid the employees. We’ve got bodies with anniversary other’s buzz numbers sending messages, and on amusing media.”
“We’re run by the United States of accumulated America,” she concluded. “I accept to assignment for all these business bodies who attending at me like I’m trash. I think, you know, ‘If we all absolved out, you would all accept nothing.’ So back are we activity to do it? I’m accessible for it.”
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