Saturday, August 11, 2007

Stupid Independent Union Tries Organize UPS

Posted on Wed, Aug. 08, 2007
KCK UPS Freight terminal workers vote against joining union
The Kansas City Star

Workers at the area UPS Freight Inc. terminal decisively rejected a labor group’s attempt to organize them.

According to a three-day election concluded Tuesday by the National Labor Relations Board, 203 employees voted against joining the Association of Parcel Workers of America, while 66 voted in favor of the group.

Dan Hubbel, assistant director of the NLRB’s regional office, said 339 hourly employees were eligible to vote.

It was a big setback for the North Carolina-based group that has tried to establish itself as an alternative to the Teamsters union. The UPS Freight terminal in Kansas City, Kan., was the first site that the parcel workers association tried to organize.

The Teamsters represent nearly 240,000 employees at UPS parcel and package operations, which is in the middle of negotiating a new national contract, although it does not represent UPS Freight workers here. UPS Freight, a less-than-truckload carrier, was known as Overnite Transportation Co. until UPS bought it in 2005.

The Teamsters represent 125 employees at UPS Freight’s Indianapolis facility, where the union and the company are also in contract talks. Other than that terminal, the company is a nonunion operation.

Van Skillman, the parcel workers association president and a UPS package driver in Greensboro, N.C., said a straw poll taken last week indicated the Kansas City, Kan., work force would vote to join the association.

“In a week’s time, things changed dramatically,” he said. “I don’t know what happened in Kansas City. I have my suspicions, but I won’t say anything more while I’ve got our people looking into it.”

The parcel workers association also has filed with the NLRB to hold union elections at UPS Freight sites in Gaffney, S.C., and Pittsburgh.

UPS Freight said its work force in Kansas City, Kan., had spoken.

“We’ve always maintained that it’s the employees’ choice as to whether they want a union,” said Ira Rosenfeld, a UPS Freight spokesman. “We should respect that, and the employees chose to remain union-free.”

The Teamsters said it is negotiating a contract with UPS Freight in Indianapolis that will be a model for other UPS terminals around the country.

“The APWA doesn’t even have records on file with Department of Labor,” said Harold McLaughlin, president of Teamsters Local 41 in Kansas City. “Freight workers at UPS Freight should get the best workplace representation that they can — and that’s with the Teamsters union.”

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