Friday, January 18, 2008

UPS Freight Workers in Detroit Take Big Step Toward Joining Teamsters

An Overwhelming Majority of Workers Sign Cards To Join Teamsters Local 299

An overwhelming majority of the 107 workers at the UPS Freight (formerly Overnite Transportation) terminal in Detroit have signed authorization cards to become Teamsters, the third major campaign victory announced by the union this week, Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa announced.

“The UPS Freight campaign continues to move ahead at full steam,” Hoffa said. “After UPS Freight workers in New England and Memphis submitted cards, the campaign has rolled into the upper Midwest. We will be successful from coast to coast.”

On Wednesday, January 16, the union announced that 315 UPS Freight workers at seven locations in New England took a similar step to become Teamsters. On Thursday, January 17, the union announced that a majority of the 411 UPS Freight workers in Memphis had signed and submitted cards. At this point, a majority of 833 workers have taken the step to join the Teamsters.

“So far, 90 of the 107 Detroit workers have signed cards and we’re working on 100 percent support,” said Kevin Moore, President of Local 299 in Detroit. “The workers here in Detroit will have more protections for themselves and for their families with a Teamster contract. The overwhelming support shows the company that they are united and committed to becoming proud Teamsters. Hats off to the workers and to our organizer, Al Hinojose.”

The cards will be sent to a neutral arbitrator, and the company is expected to officially recognize the workers within a week.

“I look forward to working with more local unions and more UPS Freight workers in the coming days and weeks in the workers’ fight for a brighter future,” said Ken Hall, Director of the Teamsters Parcel and Small Package Division.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

UPS Freight Workers in Memphis Keep Organizing Campaign Rolling

A Majority of Drivers, Dockworkers Sign Cards To Join Teamsters Local 667

A majority of the 411 workers at the UPS Freight (formerly Overnite Transportation) terminal in Memphis have signed authorization cards to become Teamsters, bringing the number of workers seeking union representation to more than 700, Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa announced.

“UPS Freight workers’ quest for a strong voice on the job continues to roll—first it was New England, and now the Memphis workers have spoken,” Hoffa said.

The cards will be sent to a neutral arbitrator, paving the way for the company to officially recognize the workers, a process that is expected to take place within a week. When the process is complete, the workers will join Local 667 in Memphis.

“The UPS Freight workers in Memphis have been long-time supporters of the Teamsters, and everyone is very excited that this day has come,” said Henry Perry, Teamsters Local 667 President and International Trustee. “We will provide these workers with the best representation so that they finally have a strong voice on the job.”

“I feel like Green Bay Packers Quarterback Brett Favre right now—getting ready to go to the big dance,” said dockworker Jay Irvin, a nine-year employee. “I feel like I’m on my way to the Super Bowl.”

On Wednesday, January 16, the union announced that 315 UPS Freight workers at seven locations in New England took a similar step to become Teamsters.

“The UPS Freight campaign is off to a strong start, and we will not let up until we help thousands more workers win the respect they deserve as Teamsters,” said Ken Hall, Director of the Teamsters Parcel and Small Package Division.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

UPS Freight Workers in New England Sign Cards Seeking To Be Teamsters

A Majority of Drivers, Dockworkers Take Step To Gain Strong Voice At Work

A majority of workers at seven UPS Freight terminals throughout New England have signed authorization cards to become Teamsters, providing strong momentum in the nationwide campaign to give thousands of company employees a strong voice on the job, Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa announced.

The cards will now be sent to a neutral arbitrator, paving the way for the company to officially recognize the 315 workers, which is expected to occur within a week. The workers belong to the following local unions: Local 25 in Boston; Local 170 in Worcester, Mass.; Local 251 in E. Providence, R.I.; Local 340 in S. Portland, Maine; Local 404 in Springfield, Mass.; Local 443 in New Haven, Conn.; and Local 633 in Manchester, N.H.

"UPS Freight workers in New England have taken the next step in our campaign to help thousands of UPS Freight workers have a brighter future," Hoffa said.

"Our New England local union leaders, led by Local 633 Secretary-Treasurer and Joint Council 10 Secretary-Treasurer Dave Laughton and Local 25 President Sean O'Brien, worked closely together to make this next phase of the UPS Freight campaign a success," said Ken Hall, Director of the Teamsters Package Division, who is overseeing the campaign. "These local unions followed the process we have established to make this campaign successful, and soon the New England employees will join their coworkers in Indianapolis in getting a contract that addresses their concerns about fair wages, improved health care and pensions."

This past October, workers at UPS Freight (formerly Overnite Transportation) in Indianapolis overwhelmingly ratified their first contract ever, an agreement that improved wages, benefits and working conditions and which served as a model to organize thousands of other UPS Freight employees nationwide.

How Many More People Will Die?

By Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa

Last week, a northbound Mexican semi-tractor trailer crashed into another semi when it tried to pop a U-turn on the Mexican side of a border bridge.
The truck burst into flames. A pickup truck plunged off the bridge, killing three men. A mini-van driver was burned beyond recognition. Six people, including three children, were hurt.

The bridge director said tractor-trailers routinely make U-turns on the Mexican side of the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge when drivers realize they’re missing the proper documentation to cross the international border. Or maybe they’re trying to avoid inspections. Whatever the reason, it’s alarming.

The roads in Mexico simply aren’t as safe as they are in the United States. The Pharr-Reynosa bridge tragedy is just the latest example, but there are many, many more.

Whether people die on our highways seems to be of little concern to the Bush administration. They desperately want to throw open our borders to Mexican trucks.

Congress doesn’t like that idea so much. Since 2002, laws have been put on the books that require the Transportation Department to prove highway safety won’t be affected before—not after—a pilot project opens the border to long-haul trucks from Mexico.

There’s a good reason for such caution.

For starters: Security lapses and long wait times at U.S. borders result from staff shortages, poor training of border personnel, outdated facilities, an overwhelming workload and a lack of standard tamperproof documents.

The Bush administration doesn’t care that Mexican trucks aren’t as safe as ours. The Bush administration doesn’t care that border inspection stations are overwhelmed. The Bush administration doesn’t care that Congress passed law after law requiring proof that a cross-border pilot program wouldn’t affect safety.

Just after Labor Day, the Bush administration threw open the borders to longhaul Mexican trucks.

Congress quickly passed a law to close the border. It took effect Dec. 26.

The Bush administration now claims it doesn’t understand the English language.The Transportation Department says the law doesn’t apply to the pilot project. In brazen defiance of the law, the Bush administration will
keep the Mexican trucks coming.

Teamsters are not happy. We filed our final brief in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco as part of our case challenging the legality of the pilot project.

Our brief states that the Bush administration “has not and cannot dispute the extensive legislative history that makes crystal clear Congress’ specific intent to stop the pilot program.”

Our oral arguments take place on Feb. 12. We’re confident the court will side with us and rule that this reckless, dangerous program breaks the law.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Trucking Officials See Stable US Economy

Despite declining freight volumes in the U.S. and rising fuel costs, trucking industry representatives on Monday offered optimistic economic outlooks.

"I don't expect things to get worse," American Trucking Associations President and Chief Executive Bill Graves said. Graves, speaking at a welcome ceremony for Chinese officials at ATA headquarters in Arlington, Va., said he anticipates an improving economic picture by the beginning of 2009.

A Bear Stearns analyst echoed the sentiment about already weak demand not declining further in the near-term and trucking stocks rose Monday.

Almost 70 percent of manufactured and retail goods in the U.S. are carried by truck, making the industry an important economic bellwether.

While the U.S. economy is slowing, it also is still growing, said Mingde Yao, president of the China Road Transport Association. He does not expect a U.S. recession and said the slowdown should have only a minor effect on trade between the two countries.

The U.S. trade deficit with China through the first 11 months of 2007 totaled $237.5 billion, the highest annual imbalance ever recorded with a single country. The November deficit dipped slightly to $24 billion from a record $25.9 billion in October, but analysts predict more deficit jumps lie ahead as U.S. demand for Chinese goods has been unfazed by a string of high-profile recalls of a variety of products made there.

Chinese officials realize their nation's explosive economic growth in recent years cannot last forever and their government is now "emphasizing the quality and efficiency of the economy, not just the speed," Yao said through an interpreter. He led a delegation of Chinese government and transportation industry officials who are meeting with their U.S. counterparts this week to learn about the evolution of America's freight trucking system.

China last year spent $100 billion on road construction, and trucking freight has become the dominant mode of transportation there, he said.

A number of ATA members, including United Parcel Service Inc. and FedEx Corp. already operate in China and even more are interested in expanding there as the Asian nation's government continues to invest in transportation infrastructure, Graves said.

Expanding overseas is one way U.S. trucking companies can attempt to offset weakness at home. Total goods shipped by truck in the U.S. rose 3.3 percent in November from a year earlier, but the ATA last month said it expected "lackluster" freight volumes at least through the first half of this year.

Still, shares of many trucking companies soared Monday afternoon after Bear Stearns analyst Edward Wolfe raised his rating on the sector to "Market Weight" from "Underweight." Trucking stocks' values are nearing bottoms and while demand remains weak, it doesn't appear to be getting worse, said Wolfe, who held an "Underweight" rating on truckers for two and a half years.

YRC jumps early contract hurdle, faces restructuring challenges

With the Teamsters’ rank-and-file ramification likely on a new five-year labor deal, YRC Worldwide hopes it has stemmed freight diversion to non-union competition as the nation’s largest group of LTL carriers hopes to rebound from one of its worst years in its 84-year history.

With its stock having lost 53 percent of its value in 2007, YRC is in the forefront of a trucking recession that has hurt virtually every carrier. But because Teamster-covered YRC operates in the relatively flat $33.4 billion LTL sector—with its Roadway and Yellow units facing high fixed costs while operating in the sluggish long-haul subsector—it has been hammered harder than most.

The bright side for YRC is it has obtained labor peace for at least the next five years. Although the new National Master Freight Agreement had not been ratified by press time, there was every likelihood it would be signed a full six weeks head of its March 31 expiration of the old contract. Full Story....

Auction of Packer tickets will benefit charity

With the intent of raising funds to help the National MS (Multiple Sclerosis) Society-Wisconsin Chapter, an Ohio business executive has donated two tickets to this Sunday's NFC Championship game between the Green Bay Packers and New York Giants at Lambeau Field.

Tom Carlson, who resides in Beavercreek, Ohio, and works for ABF Freight System, has put his tickets for sale online. This is the second week in a row that he has donated his seats at Lambeau Field.

Carlson, an avid snowmobiler, will be participating in the Society's 2008 MS Snowmobile Tour at Northern Lights Casino, Jan. 31-Feb. 4, and said wanted to do something special to draw attention and support to the mission.

"I would have loved to have attended both playoff games in Green Bay," Carlson said. "My children, siblings, and friends would all have loved to attend as well. Sometimes sacrifices are simple for those of us with relatively good health. This was my way of contributing and trying to drive awareness to find a cure for a world free of MS."

To bid on the tickets, visit

Sunday, January 13, 2008

DHL and Walgreens partner in package deal

DHL has entered into a strategic agreement with Walgreens, the nation's largest drugstore chain, which will more than double the number of retail outlets offering DHL Express shipping services nationally.

Walgreens is projected to expand to more than 6,500 locations by the end of 2008 with more than 1,600 stores open 24 hours a day. The Walgreens/DHL agreement brings an unprecedented strategic retail partnership to the express delivery industry with the highest level of convenience and accessibility for small businesses and consumers.

The new agreement is designed to readily service shippers sending and dropping off their packages via DHL for overnight, ground or international delivery. The DHL Shipping Spot will be staffed by Walgreens associates at Walgreens photo counters to weigh, label and ship customer packages to U.S. or international destinations, creating a simple and easy shipping experience.
Walgreens is the perfect partner

Walgreens customers will have access to DHL's core express products and services.

"DHL's success partnering with a retailer to offer in-store shipping services has proven that American businesses and consumers want the convenience of shipping where they shop, and Walgreens is the perfect partner," said Hans Hickler, CEO of DHL Express (USA). "Expanding DHL's retail presence is an important next step in our U.S. retail strategy, as well as our small to mid-size business growth plans. The combination of shipping within the corner drugstore environment on a national basis is unprecedented and allows both DHL and Walgreens to provide even more convenience to customers in unparalleled ways," continued Hickler.

Walgreens customers will have access to DHL's core express products and services. Shippers will benefit from the convenience of a DHL location "down the street" and "around the corner" that provides access to a global shipping network serving over 225 countries and territories.

"We've seen strong customer response to DHL in-store shipping in test markets," said Walgreens Executive Vice President of Marketing George Riedl. "The service addresses an important need for our time-crunched customer base. This new offering will be another powerful addition to our overall strategy of making life easier for customers."

By end of 2008, DHL will have more than doubled its retail presence with retail shipping locations, including Walgreens and OfficeMax locations, as well as thousands of independently owned and operated shipping centers that are part of the DHL Authorized Shipping Center network.