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Old 07-11-2005, 09:59 AM   #1  
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Joined APC: May 2005
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Default UPS counters IPA

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Regrettably, IPA leadership appears to be using the recess period for divisiveness rather than collaboration. In the last several days, IPA leaders have distributed misleading messages to their membership, to the company, to the news media and to customers. In addition, despite our original agreement to keep specifics at the table, the IPA is now providing details about what has occurred at the negotiations.

These unfortunate tactics put the UPS management team in the position of once again having to set the record straight on the facts surrounding negotiations. Let’s debunk and examine the IPA’s tactics one by one:

Customer communications
IPA tactic: On June 29, IPA President Tom Nicholson sent a letter via Western Union to a list of several thousand UPS customers. (A copy of that customer letter is attached.) In that message, Nicholson:

Warned of a release from mediation, 30-day cooling off period and strike possibilities.
Advised customers, “betting your career on Big Brown is a risky proposition.”
And drew parallels between the 1997 Teamsters strike and current IPA talks.
This is the second of such letters to UPS customers.
The facts:

Despite the current recess, talks between UPS and the IPA remain under the control of the NMB.
The NMB has shown no indication of granting a release from mediation. The current recess is simply a pause in talks to allow both sides to re-examine differences on pay and pension issues.
The IPA is required by the Railway Labor Act to continue working while we are in mediation.
Parallels between the current pause in negotiations and the 1997 strike are meant to sensationalize and cause emotions to stir.
UPS is in regular communication with its Business Development staff and customers so they understand negotiations facts.
The company would hope that the IPA understands how volatile customer scare tactics can be. At UPS, 40 domestic packages equal one job. Generally, we use this statistic to illustrate growth; however, it is a number that can go the other way too. There is much more at stake than leverage in contracts talks. The fact is that customer threats can and do impact the livelihood and security of UPSers throughout the system.

Misleading Messaging
IPA leadership claim: The contract scope language “would allow for outsourcing pilot jobs to third-world carriers.”
The facts:
The language of the Scope article has been agreed upon by both sides and contains language guaranteeing growth opportunities for UPS crewmembers. The only open issue is the IPA’s request for new language regarding crewmember rights to work in the Training Center.
The union has agreed to language in Article 1 that is specific regarding when the company may subcontract foreign flying.
The term “outsourcing” is misused and incorrect. Outsourcing implies that existing jobs are being taken away. UPS is, in fact, adding 300 pilot positions.
The term “outsourcing” is sensationalistic. The outsourcing of U.S. jobs is a hot topic in Washington D.C. and in the news media, and the union is attempting to leverage this to gain support.
IPA leadership claim: UPS’s current offer “does not provide a level of security to prevent what happened at United Airlines and Enron.”
The facts:
The UPS pilots’ pension fund is currently well funded. In fact, even though UPS uses conservative methods and there are various ways to calculate the amount, most methods indicate we are funded between 100-108% of requirements.
Unlike United, UPS is financially secure. Unlike Enron, UPS has an unquestioned record of corporate ethics. A century of prudent management practices, such as those we have been bringing to bear on negotiations, have ensured UPS’s safety and security.
IPA leadership claim: The current compensation offer “is a pay cut for a substantial percentage of our pilots.”
The facts:
The current proposal would increase the wages of every pilot on the UPS payroll.
Proposed wage increases are in line with what other employee groups have received in recent years.
According to the research of multiple independent third parties, UPS pilots are already paid at the top of their industry.
Pay increases come in addition to numerous tentatively okayed improvements in work rules and quality-of-life issues.
IPA leadership claim: UPS’s benefits offer would “increase what crewmembers pay for health insurance by 1,000%.”
The facts:
Current health care coverage for UPS crewmembers is virtually free.
UPS is seeking for crewmembers to share in the cost of their health care coverage, just as many other employee groups do.
This claim is sensationalistic.
The company has indicated that this issue remains subject to further negotiations.
IPA leadership claim: UPS has “pulled the rug out from under our negotiators who have diligently worked through otherwise productive scheduling discussions.”
The facts:
With the exception of minor issues related to compensation, virtually all scheduling language has been agreed upon by both parties.
The new language would provide substantial improvements in work rules and quality-of-life issues.
Contract and strike authorization vote
IPA tactic: Union leadership proposes to put out to the membership a mock “last, best and final” contract offer and strike authorization vote to its membership.
The facts:
The IPA’s demands for a “last, best and final” contract offer have come outside of the NMB processes by which both parties have agreed to abide.
UPS has not given the IPA a “last, best and final” contract offer.
The contract vote will be conducted before key terms have been agreed upon and, again, outside of established NMB process.
Since it appears these ballots will go out together, UPS questions how genuine the vote will be.
Any vote to authorize a strike remains purely symbolic since the NMB is in control of talks.
Tit for tat communication does little to advance progress in contract talks. However, keeping the record straight is important, and UPS will continue to make sure employees understand the facts of IPA contract negotiations.

As this recess continues, the company believes that both sides’ time would be best spent trying to figure out the basis for an agreement, rather than engaging in more rhetoric. Our plan is to focus our efforts on seeking common ground on the remaining pay and pension issues so we can agree on a contract that is good for everyone.
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