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Teamsters ups contract campaign


Teamsters ups contract campaign

Organizing for a better contract!

Location: ups
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Latest Activity: 22 hours ago

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Are You Happy?

Are you happy with the current contract?Continue

Started by Joe Balkis Jan 1, 2012.

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Comment by Joe Balkis 22 hours ago

Alarming Trends in Package Delivery

Labor Notes

Their employer is the U.S. Postal Service, but a few unlucky Bay Area letter carriers were hired only to find out their job is actually delivering groceries for online retailer Amazon at 4 a.m.

Comment by Joe Balkis on Sunday

Reagan Appointee 'Unravels FedEx's Business Model' In Court Ruling

A FedEx Ground truck is parked in Park Ridge, Illinois.
In a decision that one judge wrote "substantially unravels FedEx's business model," a panel of federal judges ruled Wednesday that FedEx Ground and FedEx Home Delivery drivers are employees of the company, rather than the "independent contractors" that FedEx characterizes them as.
The decision by the panel for the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals determined that FedEx Ground had misclassified 2,300 drivers in California and Oregon as contractors, opening the company up to hundreds of millions of dollars in wage claims. The ruling reversed a decision by a lower court that had stopped the plaintiffs' lawsuits from moving forward.
In concurring with his colleagues, Judge Stephen S. Trott used a quote attributed to President Abraham Lincoln to argue that employees are still employees even if a company wants to call them contractors.
"Abraham Lincoln reportedly asked, 'If you call a dog's tail a leg, how many legs does a dog have?'" wrote Trott, an appointee of President Ronald Reagan. "His answer was, 'Four. Calling a dog's tail a leg does not make it a leg.'" (Exactly what Lincoln said, it should be noted, is a matter of dispute.)
Comment by Joe Balkis on Sunday

Over the years, FedEx has been sued by workers dozens of times over its independent contractor model, though many of those lawsuits have been dismissed or held on appeal.
"We expect that the 9th Circuit's ruling will have a cascade effect on all other appeals pending around the country, and it really heralds the end of FedEx's way of doing business," said Beth Ross, an attorney who led the plaintiffs' case.
In a statement, FedEx Ground said it would ask for a review of the ruling by the entire 9th Circuit. The company also said it had legally strengthened its contractor model in 2011, and argued that Wednesday's ruling doesn't apply to its current labor model.
"We fundamentally disagree with these rulings, which run counter to more than 100 state and federal findings -- including the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit -- upholding our contractual relationships with thousands of independent businesses," said Cary Blancett, FedEx Ground's senior vice president and general counsel.
FedEx is largely credited with having pioneered the "independent contractor" work model in the logistics industry. Under this system, workers function as self-employed drivers with their own routes, covering the costs of their own trucks, gasoline, uniforms and so forth.
While corporations claim the contractor system gives drivers flexibility and strong incentives as "small businesses," critics say it's simply a way to shift the costs of employment onto workers and avoid payroll taxes and workers'-compensation costs.
The basic question in lawsuits involving the independent contractor model is whether or not a company like FedEx still maintains control over the work itself. In Wednesday's ruling, the judges asserted that it does.
"Although our decision substantially unravels FedEx's business model," Trott wrote in his decision, "FedEx was not entitled to 'write around' the principles and mandates of California Labor Law."
As HuffPost reported earlier this year, this model has been widely adopted by other trucking and courier companies, many of whose drivers work long hours for low pay and little job security. One worker who drives for the delivery company Lasership, which is a major Amazon contractor, described the arrangement this way: "It's like they want us to be employees, but they don't want to pay for it."
In its statement, FedEx Ground said that due to recent lawsuits and regulations, the company had "taken a number of steps in recent years to enhance its operating agreements with the independent businesses that contract with the company." 
Comment by Joe Balkis on Sunday

UPS Full-Time Jobs Update

 Despite growing volume, UPS has shrunk the Teamster workforce. When the recession hit in 2008, UPS went lean and mean. They reduced hiring, implemented new technology, increased harassment, and eliminated full-time jobs.

Comment by Joe Balkis on Saturday

Birmingham UPS shooter identified: Family member calls him ‘one of the best men I’ve ever known’

The Birminghamupdated September 23, 2014 at 9:29 PM 
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama --Three people are dead -- including the gunman -- after a shooting this morning at a UPS facility in Inglenook, according to Birmingham officials.
The incident happened just before 9:30 a.m. as police received multiple calls of an active shooter at 4601 Inglenook Lane, the customer service center and warehouse. "Patrol units responded quickly; they rallied and made entry,'' said Birmingham Police Chief A.C. Roper. "They were able to clear the building and, of course, during the shooting, multiple employees exited the facility."
Once the officers arrived and entered the building, they found three dead people inside the business. "It appears it was the shooter, still wearing his UPS uniform, and two other employees,'' the chief said.
Police officials have not publicly named the shooter, but law-enforcement sources, family and church members identified him as 45-year-old Joe Tesney. He is married, and the father of two daughters.
When they came to work today they had no idea it would be their last day alive on earth," A.C. Roper.
The gun used in the shootings was still underneath his body when police arrived on the scene.
Police this afternoon confirmed the shooter was fired from his job. "He received his final papers Monday,'' said police spokesman Lt. Sean Edwards. "Today he was not expected to return to work because he was no longer employed there."
Tesney reportedly was fired within the past month and appealed the firing. He lost his appeal in recent days.
What led to his firing wasn't immediately available. Court records show an auto repair, design and testing shop, filed a lawsuit in November 2012 against Tesney and UPS in Jefferson County District Civil Court.
The lawsuit claims that on Nov. 5, 2010, Tesney came to the business to pick up packages. Along with the marked packages for shipment Tesney negligently, recklessly or intentionally took an unboxed custom one-of-a-kind radiator for a race truck that TSA Motorsports had shipped to HESCO for testing. The radiator  was not marked or otherwise designated for shipment, the lawsuit claims. The radiator was valued at approximately $4,000.
The radiator was never returned or replaced by UPS or Tesney, the lawsuit states.  Jefferson County District Judge Jack Lowther found in favor of Tesney and UPS after a bench trial on Sept. 10, 2013.
Comment by Joe Balkis on Friday
Tesney's mother-in-law, Wanda Binney, told AL.com today the family is shocked. "He was one of the best men I have ever known,'' she said. "He was a kind husband and a wonderful father."
Asked if anyone would predict this from Tesney, Binney said, "Anybody but Joe. He's never hurt anyone in his life."
"He was just a wonderful person and we're shocked,'' she said. She said the children have not been notified of their father's death.
Tesney was a member of Northpark Baptist Church in Trussville. The church released the following statement today to AL.com: "We are praying for the employees of UPS and the families of the victims of today's tragedy. Our hearts are grieved. We pray that the peace of our Lord would be near to those who have been devastated."  
All three deceased were adult white males, and their names have not been publicly released. The two victims were supervisors at UPS, and police said they believe at least one was specifically targeted in the shooting. The other, sources tell AL.com, was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.
It is believed the gunman shot himself.
Roper said no one else was injured. Police did not fire any shots, Roper said, nor did they hear any shots. "When the officers arrived in the parking lot and made entry, the incident in all respect was already over,'' he said.
Hundreds of police officers from Birmingham and Tarrant flocked to this morning's scene. Residents of nearby office buildings, and some family members of UPS workers, somberly gathered outside watching the incident unfold.
Roper said no one else inside was injured other than those who died. "We do have people who are extremely upset about what they saw today and what they witnessed,'' Roper said. "We want to make sure we support them."
They were taken by bus to Boutwell Auditorium, where police have blocked off the streets around there as counselors meet with employees.
Roper said the investigation will be methodical. "We'll be digging into the work history, into the background, also talking to family members and these other employees who may be able to shed some information on what happened today,'' he said. "We have a pretty good idea about what transpired inside the business.
"We want to make sure we get a good picture of what led up to today and what we can do in the future to prevent it,'' Roper said.
"It is extremely troubling for the city, for the families involved. When they came to work today, they had no idea it would be their last day alive on earth," he said. "They were just people working at their jobs."
As a precautionary measure, the campus of Springville elementary and middle schools were briefly placed on lock down because there is a connection between a person involved in the shooting and a child at the school, St. Clair County officials said. Authorities later confirmed there were family members at the schools when the shooting happened.
"It was just a precaution in case he was still at large," said Phillip Johnson, facilities manager for the county school system.
Comment by Joe Balkis on Friday
Pastor: UPS gunman was 'troubled' over work
UPS shooting: ​Police officers escort UPS employees on a bus from the scene where three people were killed, including the gunman, at a UPS facility in Birmingham, Ala., Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014. AP Photo: Joe Songer, Al.com
​Police officers escort UPS employees on a bus from the scene where three people were killed, including the gunman, at a UPS facility in Birmingham, Ala., Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — The man who killed two former co-workers and then himself at a UPS shipping center Tuesday had told some people that he was having problems at work but never suggested the situation might turn violent, his pastor said.
Comment by Joe Balkis on Friday
A law enforcement official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to release the information, identified the shooter as Joe Tesney of suburban Trussville.
Tesney and his wife have two children, and they've been members at NorthPark Baptist Church since 2003, said the church's pastor, Bill Wilks.
Wilks described the 45-year-old Tesney as being "troubled" over his work and financial situation.
"I think it's been an ongoing situation," Wilks said. "In his own spirit he's been troubled, and he's asked for prayer about that."
Tesney and his wife, Melissa, are listed as distributors for Advocare, a multi-level marketing company that sells health and fitness products. They have a website advertising the business that says: "Just tell us your needs, your dreams your desires ... and we'll make it happen!"
UPS spokesman Steve Gaut would not say what Tesney's job duties had been before his firing was finalized Monday.
Court records showed a Birmingham business sued Tesney and UPS in 2010 claiming he had wrongly picked up a $4,000 radiator for shipment either intentionally or by mistake. The lawsuit went on for years before a judge ruled in favor of Tesney and the shipping company exactly one year ago — Sept. 23, 2013.
However, it was not immediately clear why Tesney had been fired or whether that lawsuit may have played a role.
The UPS warehouse, a light brown building sitting on a hill with company logos on the front and side, is used to sort packages and send them out on trucks. About 80 drivers had already left on their routes, and a small number remained when the shooter drove up in a private vehicle Tuesday morning and walked inside through a truck dock door in the back of the building, Gaut said.
The building has a parking lot surrounded by barbed wire.
The man was wearing a UPS uniform and opened fire either in or near some offices inside the warehouse in an industrial area just north of the Birmingham airport, Birmingham Police Chief A.C. Roper told reporters.
The gunman had apparently shot himself by the time officers got inside the warehouse, Roper said. No one else was hurt.
Employees who were at the warehouse when the shooting happened were being taken to another location so that they could be interviewed by investigators and provided with counseling, Roper said.
Late Tuesday morning, a long line of police cars with their lights flashing left the area as part of a motorcade with a white school bus. Also, a wrecker with a police escort left the scene towing a dark red Honda SUV.
Vonderrick Rogers lives on the same street as the UPS facility and said he drove past the building shortly after it happened. There were already 10 to 15 police officers on the scene with more arriving, he said.
"Cops were jittering and running around like they were ready to go grab somebody," he said.
Comment by Joe Balkis on Thursday
A man wearing a UPS uniform opened fired at a UPS facility near the Birmingham airport, killing two people before dying of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to police.More >>
Birmingham police said the shooter and two victims were white males.
The shooter has been identified by multiple sources as Joe Tesney. The identities of both victims have not been released yet as authorities are still working to notify their families.
Police received multiple phone calls about an active shooter at 9:21 a.m. on Tuesday.
During the shooting, multiple employees fled from the UPS building located in the 4600 block of Inglenook Lane near the Birmingham Shuttlesworth International Airport.
Birmingham patrol officers were some of the first ones to arrive at the scene.
"When police officers entered the facility, they identified and located the three bodies, one of those is obviously the shooter, and it appeared he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound," Birmingham Police Chief A.C. Roper said.
The shooting occured in the warehouse area near the offices.
Although police did not discuss a motive, Birmingham police Chief A.C. Roper said, "We have a pretty good idea of what transpired inside the business."
Birmingham police Lt. Sean Edwards said the shooter was terminated from his job on Monday. The shooter wore his UPS uniform when he returned to the facility on Tuesday morning. 
Edwards said the two victims appeared to be higher-ranked employees, but would not confirm their positions with the company.
"It appears that the shooter knew exactly who he wanted to target at the time," Edwards said.
Police did not fire any shots or hear any gunshots when they arrived at the UPS building. No other injuries were reported.
Chief Roper said police will be interviewing family, friends and witnesses to discover a motive in the shooting.
Several UPS employees and witnesses to the shooting were taken by bus to Birmingham's Boutwell Auditorium for interviews and counseling. Lt. Edwards estimated more than a dozen witnesses were being interviewed.
Birmingham Fire and Rescue crews and EMS personnel responded to the Boutwell Auditorium to offer support. The Red Cross provided pizzas to the UPS employees who were being interviewed at Boutwell.
At least one employee suffered from a panic attack after the shooting, but is expected to be OK.
Birmingham city officials closed Abraham Woods Jr. Blvd. from Short 20th to Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd due to the witness interviews being conducted at Boutwell Auditorium.
The UPS facility in Inglenook is on lock down while authorities can continue to gather evidence and process the scene.
Comment by Joe Balkis on Thursday
Chief Roper said the shooting is "extremely troubling for the city, for these families that are involved, because when these people came to work today they had no idea this would be their last day on earth."
"They were just people working at their job, for them to lose their lives is very sad. Violence is never the answer," he continued. 
UPS confirmed that two current employees and a recently terminated employee were dead in a 2 p.m. update posted on their website:
UPS can verify that a shooting occurred at a UPS facility outside Birmingham, Ala., at 9:21 a.m. CT. We can confirm that two UPS employees and a recently terminated employee are dead. We are not confirming the identities pending notification of their families by authorities.
The safety of our employees is our primary focus, and UPS is cooperating fully with law enforcement.
We are deeply saddened by this event, and our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of those who lost their lives today.
We recognize that this process is painful for family and friends, so we ask for your patience and understanding as we work with the authorities.
Our focus now is on assisting the families of the victims, as well as the employees who work in this facility. We have reached out to the families and are providing counseling and support to employees during this difficult time.
UPS published an initial statement online at 11:05 a.m. EST:
"UPS can verify that there has been a shooting incident at a UPS facility outside Birmingham, AL, at approximately 9:40 am Central Time. Police were contacted, and UPS is offering full cooperation to verify circumstances and personnel on site."
Governor Robert Bentley released the following statement after the shooting:
"Dianne and I are saddened to learn about the deadly shooting at the UPS Center in Birmingham. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and co-workers of those who died this morning.
I was briefed on the active shooter situation by the Alabama Secretary of Law Enforcement just moments after it occurred. I commend the quick and efficient response of Birmingham Chief A.C. Roper and his staff at the Birmingham Police Department. Today's incident is a reminder of the importance of law enforcement training to respond to active shooters.
State law enforcement resources are available and ready to assist if needed as investigators work to determine a cause in this deadly shooting."
Birmingham Mayor William Bell released the following statement on the shooting:
"We are deeply saddened by today's events and offer our condolences to the families and employees impacted by today's tragedy. Chief Roper and the BPD have our full support as we investigate and get answers for all involved."

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