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FR8K9 10-05-2008 12:00 PM

UPS lobbyists
 
Good article here about what UPS lobbyists are doing down in Washington, DC. Also some info on the progress of the DHL vendor agreement.

Looks like the deal is still on, indeed.


Critics track UPS' lobbyists, contributions
Lawmakers who oppose air deal with DHL find most colleagues reluctant

By Marilyn Geewax
Cox News Service

Published on Sunday, Oct 05, 2008

WASHINGTON: Powerful political leaders are trying to block United Parcel Service from providing air cargo services for its rival DHL.

These opponents, who fear the loss of jobs and competition, have spurred two congressional hearings and secured the support of both presidential candidates.

Still, the UPS-DHL agreement, announced in May, remains on track to close this year. Atlanta-based UPS' giant's deftness at deflecting criticism highlights its clout on Capitol Hill, where it has long-standing relationships.

When lawmakers ask questions about the DHL deal, UPS lobbyists ''immediately respond,'' UPS spokesman Norman Black said. ''That's their job.''

And they do that job with the help of heavy spending. According to records compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan, nonprofit Washington research group that tracks money in politics, UPS contributed $22.5 million to federal candidates in the 1989-2008 period. That gave the company a ranking of No. 21 on the center's ''top all-time donors'' list.

About two-thirds of its spending went to Republican candidates. On the list of contributors to Republicans' political action committees, UPS ranked No. 7 for the 2007-2008 election cycle, with $948,208 donated, according to data released by the Federal Elections Commission on Sept. 17.

UPS does not reveal how many lobbyists it employs, but the Center for Responsive Politics says UPS has spent at least $17.3 million on lobbying since 2002, with more than $2.5 million being spent just in the first half of this year.

The key issues for the company's lobbyists are free trade, transportation infrastructure and aviation policy.

Lawmakers who have opposed UPS on legislation have found themselves facing a tough foe. Among them is Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Wis., who introduced the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act to impose new shipping and record-keeping requirements on those who sell cigarettes by mail, phone or Internet.

The bill passed the House 379-12 last month, ''but stalled in the Senate — again,'' said Rohit Mahajan, Kohl's press secretary. UPS mounted ''one of several lobbying efforts that have successfully blocked Sen. Kohl's PACT Act,'' he said.

Black, the UPS spokesman, said that although the company does lobby on many matters, ''We are not lobbying on the DHL issue because we don't need to. Congress has no role — this is a straight vendor contract.''

Under the proposal, UPS would get an infusion of $1 billion in annual revenue from DHL, the U.S.-based express shipping unit of German postal service Deutsche Post AG. In exchange, UPS would transport DHL packages among airports in North America.

UPS would not pick up or deliver DHL packages to customers, leaving the companies to continue to operate as rivals, UPS says. The arrangement would be similar to an existing contract with the U.S. Postal Service, it argues.

But the deal would mean the loss of thousands of jobs at DHL's air cargo facility in Wilmington, Ohio. That has drawn criticism from both presidential candidates, Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz, and Barack Obama, D-Ill., and from other Congress members who have called for a Justice Department antitrust review.

Ohio lawmakers say the deal would limit competition.

Because the transaction has not yet been finalized, antitrust regulators have not commented. Black said UPS would provide Justice with a copy of the agreement, but does not expect an antitrust review because ''this is not a merger, not a partnership and not a joint venture.''

Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a nonprofit group, said that while only the Justice Department can block deals on antitrust grounds, Congress can have influence.

For example, if Congress is unhappy with Justice, it can retaliate by holding ''unpleasant hearings, reducing appropriations or threatening legislative changes,'' she said. ''The fewer lawmakers you have writing nasty letters about you to Justice, the happier a company is,'' she said,

To discourage lawmakers from pressuring Justice, UPS has been explaining its position to them. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., describes the UPS lobbyists as ''very well respected and professional.''

With the DHL controversy raging, the UPS lobbyists ''met with us and told us their story,'' he said. ''I realize this (transaction) will cost some jobs in Ohio. But UPS has made a compelling case'' that in a slowing economy with sky-high jet fuel prices, this is a sensible deal, Isakson said
.

Pat Walsh, a pilot who transports DHL cargo for ASTAR Air Cargo, agrees that in the package delivery business ''there is a lot of excess capacity.'' But if UPS and DHL were to complete this deal, 500 pilots in his chapter alone of the Air Line Pilots Association will lose their jobs, he said.

''We're fighting this on a lot of different fronts,'' including sending pilots door to door on Capitol Hill to make personal appeals.

''The Ohio delegation has been fighting this deal,'' Walsh said.

But the pilots are in a tough position. ''UPS is a big company to go up against,'' he said. Not to mention, with 358,000 employees, UPS has a presence in virtually every congressional district.

Trying to outlobby UPS ''has been a real lesson in how government works,'' he said.

Ohio.com - Critics track UPS' lobbyists, contributions

Worldguy 10-05-2008 02:37 PM

If UPS ever falls on hard times it will be interesting to hear FR8K9 and SBs take on things. I hope they never have to wish for industry support. They are the vocal minority shaping a negitive view of a descent majority.

WG

Sideshow Bob 10-05-2008 02:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Worldguy (Post 473905)
If UPS ever falls on hard times it will be interesting to hear FR8K9 and SBs take on things. I hope they never have to wish for industry support. They are the vocal minority shaping a negitive view of a descent majority.

WG

Having been there for those hard times at three Part 121 carriers, it will come as no surprise. I tell the truth, however un-PC it may be, (a position which is actually held be everyone in situations like this (if they're honest)), and I'm the bad guy...fine. In a situation like this one, where it's either guys I don't know or guys I do, I choose the guys I know (as if I have any say in the first place). If Gemini were still around and a DOD contract came up that would result in the demise of you or them, you being so noble would hope that Gemini got the deal...OK sure. But being the up front guy you are, you'd tell the Gemini guys you're rooting for them while walking away hoping just the opposite. Smiling as you jam the knife in...talk about duplicitous and dishonest.

For the slow uptake guys I'll say it yet again. We (and even I) have/had nothing to say about this deal, and thought it was going to Fed Ex. Yet due to the perfect storm it has apparently come down to one choice or the other, something I also have no control over. I also won't lose my job or seat if the deal does fall through. I'm the one flying with the guys who might get shown the door, and if I have to place a bet on them or guys at another union that's done nothing for them or me at least I have the guts to tell the truth. Disparage that at your own intellectual peril.

Worldguy 10-05-2008 03:06 PM

I choose not to argue with you, your posts speak for themselves.
Good luck ABX/Astar. Remember your brown brothers if they ever come to you.
WG

FR8K9 10-05-2008 03:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Worldguy (Post 473905)
If UPS ever falls on hard times it will be interesting to hear FR8K9 and SBs take on things. I hope they never have to wish for industry support. They are the vocal minority shaping a negitive view of a descent majority.

WG

Last week I posted an article where it said that the Justice Department was going to kill the deal. I posted this relevant article this morning saying that it looked like the deal would not face scrutiny. I'm sorry that you don't approve of my posts. Don't read them then or put me on ignore if they bother you so much.

FR8K9 10-05-2008 03:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Worldguy (Post 473915)
I choose not to argue with you, your posts speak for themselves.
Good luck ABX/Astar. Remember your brown brothers if they ever come to you.
WG


Oh boy, another empty threat from an ALPA guy. What a shocker.

As I said many times, I feel horrible for any pilot losing his/her job. I think it sucks beyond belief. But since I work at UPS, it seems that I am not allowed to mention anything that will benefit my company and my union brothers.

Sorry, but I chose UPS for a reason, and I am hoping this deal works out and we add another billion to our bottom line.

Finally, I've said many times that it ****ed me off to see ALPA and ASTAR blaming UPS for their problems. What a joke!

viktorbravo 10-05-2008 04:38 PM

Interesting article. UPS does indeed have some serious clout in D.C. doesnt take long to figure out that the scales are tipped heavily in UPS' favor wrt contract mediation and even arbitration events.

Worldguy 10-05-2008 06:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FR8K9 (Post 473936)
Oh boy, another empty threat from an ALPA guy. What a shocker.

As I said many times, I feel horrible for any pilot losing his/her job. I think it sucks beyond belief. But since I work at UPS, it seems that I am not allowed to mention anything that will benefit my company and my union brothers.

Sorry, but I chose UPS for a reason, and I am hoping this deal works out and we add another billion to our bottom line.

Finally, I've said many times that it ****ed me off to see ALPA and ASTAR blaming UPS for their problems. What a joke!


I know you do not speak for IPA or the majority of UPS pilots. And by the way, ALPA has not ever had 1 copper penny from me. But rant away. Earth calling FR8K9.
WG
UPS chose you, get over the idea that you chose them.

SLPII 10-05-2008 06:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Worldguy (Post 473998)
I know you do not speak for IPA or the majority of UPS pilots. And by the way, ALPA has not ever had 1 copper penny from me. But rant away. Earth calling FR8K9.
WG
UPS chose you, get over the idea that you chose them.

What is your beef with UPS?

I'm glad to see that you're are very proud of be with the Teamsters.

Worldguy 10-05-2008 06:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SLPII (Post 474001)
What is your beef with UPS?

I'm glad to see that you're are very proud of be with the Teamsters.

I have no "beef" with the UPS pilots, only with the way that UPS Mgmt deals with the people they leave in the wake. That does not reflect on you unless you embrace their philosophy. Teamsters have worked out well for me so far.
WG


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