The Teamsters: Act II

You have to feel sorry for the Teamsters. Being associated with Jimmy Hoffa gave them one helluva black eye. When Hoffa’s son took over, they got another black eye.

And if you’ve talked to people who work for companies infested with Teamsters, you may have discovered that it’s even worse than you thought. The Teamsters are truly amazing assholes. With the 2023 UPS contract making headlines, a lot of complaints are being aired here and there, though the media are doing a pretty good job of whitewashing them.

Big question: What’s the Teamsters’ next move?

It’s no secret they want to unionize FedEx and Amazon. In fact, it’s a good bet the theatrics associated with the UPS contract are nothing more than public relations. The Teamsters want to convince people that they really are a worker’s best friend. The sad truth, however, is that the Teamsters have painted themselves into a corner.

You see, they’ve been screwing UPS employees for so long, that it would be almost impossible for them to catch up. I’ve worked for UPS for almost 16 years, and my salary has increased so slowly, my purchasing power hasn’t changed. If I wasn’t drawing my pension, I would still be struggling to pay the bills.

On top of that, we have to deal with automation, a juggernaut that threatens to turn everything upside down. I’ve had the rug pulled out from under me twice, first when they eliminated the night shift at the Seattle hub and, more recently, when they did the same thing at the hub in Redmond, Washington. The Redmond hub has been partially automated, but there’s a newer super hub in Tacoma that’s even more automated. Some of the people who worked on my shift are now commuting to Tacoma, which is said to be a hellhole to work at. However, they’re the lucky ones; many people got laid off.

There are lots of economic bogeymen out there, too. Republican pResidential candidates are openly talking about attacking Social Security. Ironically, the Democrats may have already sabotaged it; some politicians have hinted that it may start to fray in about nine years.

Fortunately, UPSers can rely on their pensions—assuming they make it to retirement. That’s another can of worms. There are retired UPS employees across the country who aren’t getting their full pension because the Teamsters mismanaged the pension funds. Under the new contract, UPS is apparently threatening to cut pension funding, leaving us out on a limb. The Western region was said to have one of the most stable pension funds, but that could change very quickly.

Of course, inflation is taking a toll, and Team USA’s war against China is blowing up in its face. There are some big things happening all around the world, and some of them aren’t terribly pleasant.

All of this bad news comes as we enter what appears to be the worst El Nino ever recorded. Temperature records have already been shattered, and the show’s just starting. Next year could easily be worse.

Of course, the Teamsters aren’t God. They can’t do much about climate change or automation—and they can’t undo all the bullshit they’ve dumped on us for two or more decades.

Unfortunately, I have little advice to offer the Reamsters. If things are so bad they couldn’t give us a good contract even if they wanted to, then maybe they should just find a new line of work.

If, however, the Teamsters choose to stick with organized crime, then they’re going to need a lot of help in the public relations department. With that in mind, let me offer a suggestion . . .

When they shut down the night shift at Redmond, many employees were angered by the astonishing lack of union assistance, which really wasn’t astonishing at all; it’s a grand Teamsters tradition. To counter the complaints, some union whores said, “Well, at least people aren’t getting fired. The Teamsters are going to help them follow the volume!”

Sure enough, many UPSers—some of whom have long kissed the Teamsters you-know-what—are now commuting from Seattle to Tacoma, which is said to be a total shithole to work at. So, here’s my plan: we call these unhappy losers a “freedom convoy.” Next, we need a slogan. How about this?

TEAMSERS: WE HELP YOU FOLLOW THE VOLUME

If I worked for Amazon and I saw a picture of a Freedom Convoy happily following the volume while people not lucky enough to be Teamsters become homeless, I’d want the Teamsters for my union. Hell, I’d unionize my entire family if that were possible.

It gets better, because once the Teamsters unionize FedEx and Amazon, they’ll no longer need UPS. So they can stop playing games and just give their dues-paying members at UPS the middle finger, which is pretty much what they do anyway.

What do you think?

Reamsters: Follow the Volume

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