Seasonal UPS workers had their entire yearly dues removed from their first paychecks, per an investigation by reporters for CBS affiliate WBZ-TV in Boston.
Workers such as Sheila O’Malley, who agreed to be interviewed on camera by the investigative team, signed an agreement to allow the union to remove dues from her paycheck at the rate of $32/week. The Teamsters instead took a full $500 from the first check, leaving her with less than $15 after a 41 hour work week just before the holidays.
“Financially it was crippling. It seemed like a few hundred dollars but that money was already spent and then we didn’t have it,” she said.WBZ-TV
According to UPS, after the Boston local changed their dues collection rule after the seasonal hiring had been done, then changed it back to the weekly rate after the pay period had closed. The result was that only the seasonal workers were affected.
This comes two months after a new contract negotiation between the Teamsters and UPS was ratified by the union in a contentious process. In October, the Teamsters membership voted against accepting the national contract, but leadership accepted the deal. Because less than half of the membership had voted, the results are considered binding only if a two-thirds margin is reached; the offer was rejected by a 54% no vote.
Some dissenting Union leaders vented their frustration at the time to sources such as the Associated Press:
Sean O’Brien, who is running to replace Hoffa in 2021, said any acceptance of the contract by union leaders should be halted.Seattle Times
“This is bad not only for the Teamsters but the entire labor movement,” said O’Brien, a Teamsters international vice president from Boston. “It’s the largest collective bargaining contract in the country and you’re sending a message to other unions.”
Sean O’Brien is the President of Local 25, which made the decision to seize all yearly dues from the first paycheck of the seasonal workers. This is not the first time such actions have been taken by overzealous or retributive Teamster officials; a similar case regarding seizure of yearly dues from seasonal UPS drivers occurred in California in 2014.
Per WBZ, the National Labor Relations Board has been notified and is investigating.