As a UPS Canada worker, you may be wondering about what the recent UPS ratification vote in the United States means for you.
Know that the U.S. contract does not apply in Canada. You are covered under a separate Canadian contract. Moreover, the negotiation process for UPS workers in the U.S. is different from our own.
For example, while we have one collective agreement for all workers across the country, they have a master agreement and several local or regional supplemental or rider agreements.
For your convenience, you’ll find below a copy of the latest update from the U.S. negotiating committee. It deals with results of the ratification vote, questions relating to turnout, and next steps. You’ll see that it is critically important to vote and participate in union life.
Visit upsrising.org if you would like to know more about the U.S. negotiations. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact your local union.
UPS American Contract Ratification Update
Originally posted at upsrising.org
Since the announcement that a tentative agreement had been reached with UPS, the National Negotiating Committee (NNC) has provided members with an unprecedented number of leaflets and summaries explaining the terms of the proposed contract. We have conducted teleconferences to highlight the improvements in the new agreement and take questions from members, which were answered in writing and available on several electronic platforms. Members supporting and opposing the tentative agreement have freely and energetically exchanged their views through social media and in the workplace, examining every aspect of the proposal. The debate has been vigorous, and any member could easily obtain information necessary to determine whether to support or oppose the National Master Agreement as well as his/her applicable Supplement and Rider.
Once the ballot materials were printed and ready for mailing to the members, both the NNC and opponents to the agreement have repeatedly encouraged members to vote. The NNC contacted members through postcards, social media messages, text messages and robo-calls urging them to exercise their right to vote. Every Local Union reached out to its members with similar programs designed to encourage membership participation in the ratification.
In an effort to make voting more convenient and to simplify the process, the NNC implemented electronic voting, replacing traditional paper mail ballots. All members could easily vote via computer or telephone in order to express their opinion of the contract. Further, the new procedures allowed members to change their vote up until the close of voting.
Despite of all of these efforts made by the NNC, Local Unions and individual members to encourage voting, only 44.3 percent of the eligible UPS membership participated in the ratification referendum on the National Master Agreement. Of the 209,043 members who were eligible to vote, only 92,604 (44.3%) cast a vote. The results of the tabulation show that 42,356 (45.8%) voted for the proposed contract and 50,248 (54.2%) voted against it.
In such circumstances where less than 50 percent of the membership votes on a final contract offer, the International Constitution provides that “a two-thirds (2/3) vote of those voting shall be required to reject such final offer…” Failure to reject the offer by at least two-thirds vote of those voting “shall require the negotiating committee to accept such final offer or such additional provisions as can be negotiated by it.” As the vote tally indicates, a majority of members did not vote and a two-thirds majority of those who did vote did not oppose the contract. The International Constitution does not give the NNC an option in these circumstances. As required by law, the NNC informed UPS of the ratification requirements at the beginning of negotiations. This provision has been in the Constitution since the 1991 Convention. If a majority of the eligible members had exercised their right to vote in this ratification, as did the members employed by UPS Freight, then a simple majority of those voting would have been needed to either accept or reject the agreement. But not enough members covered by the National Master UPS Agreement exercised their right to vote. And as we saw in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election, winning the popular vote does not necessarily win the election when the Constitution requires you to win the Electoral College vote. As Teamsters, we too must abide by the rules in our Constitution. Thus, the National Master UPS Agreement has been ratified.
The Committee fully intends to demand that UPS return to the bargaining table to address a number of member concerns with the National Master UPS Agreement. We will keep you informed. However, based on the results announced this evening, the National Master UPS Agreement has been ratified. Additionally, regional and local supplements and riders were tallied and the National Negotiating Committee will follow up with those committees to move forward.
The entire National Master UPS Agreement is not final until all of the Supplements and Riders have been resolved. Accordingly, the NNC is prepared to assist the Supplemental Negotiating Committees secure another contract offer that will be presented to the affected membership.
This has been a lengthy process. While we attempt to resolve the outstanding Supplements/Riders and discuss the National Master with UPS, you are reminded that the terms of the 2013 Agreement remain in effect, including the no strike/no lockout clause. Under the terms of the extension agreement, all of the wage increases and other economic improvements in the new contract will be paid retroactively to August 1, 2018.