Update: UPS flight dispatchers are asking to be paid like counterparts at Delta, American

dxbear

Well-Known Member
#1
Off linkedin..

The threat of a walkout is on the table in contract negotiations for UPS airline workers who want to be paid like those employed by major carriers.
Flight dispatchers with United Parcel Service Inc. (NYSE: UPS) gave unanimous consent last month for its elected union leaders to call a strike if needed in order to "secure a fair contract," according to a statement Monday from Transport Workers Union Local 549.
The Union leadership said an 81-0 vote granted its top officers the right to initiate a walkout, potentially paralyzing the Atlanta-based logistics company.
UPS, meanwhile, views the vote as a routine and symbolic gesture that does not give the union a right to strike
The Louisville-Ky.-based dispatchers prepare pre-flight plans for UPS, the largest package delivery company. Job functions include plotting each plane’s course, calculating fuel requirements, coordinating with maintenance personnel and tracking flight progress.
Dispatchers are asking to be paid like their counterparts working at major air carriers such as American Airlines Group Inc. (Nasdaq: AAL) and Delta Air LinesInc. (NYSE: DAL), who, at the top of the pay scale, make approximately 26 percent more, according to the union. The dispatchers also want UPS to fully-fund the pension plan by increasing contributions.
Local 549 said it's been trying to negotiate an updated contract with UPS for more than three years, and the dispatchers have gone approximately four years without a wage adjustment. Local 549 said UPS "has not shown serious interest in reaching an agreement," adding that under federal law a flight can’t depart without the approval of the dispatcher and the pilot in command.
“It is incredibly irresponsible for UPS to risk their air delivery service for their customers by playing labor games with such a critical group of dedicated professionals,” TWU International Rep. Gary Petersen said in the release.
Local 549 said the strike authorization allows officers to ask the National Mediation Board to be released from federal mediation, and then call a walkout after a mandatory cooling-off period.
In a statement to Atlanta Business Chronicle UPS said:
Under the U.S. labor law that governs airlines, this vote does not give the TWU the right to strike. The vote is simply a show of solidarity common in airline negotiations; there is no threat of a strike. UPS continues to negotiate in good faith for a contract that is good for our flight dispatchers, our customers and our company. We are confident talks will be completed without disruption to our customers.​
High tensions between UPS and the Teamsters are not new. Local 2727, also based in Louisville and representing a workforce of approximately 1,300 employees, filed a second request in September with the National Mediation Board asking to be released from its mediated contract negotiations. The teamsters hinted at a strike while asking for a new contract for their aircraft mechanics. A UPS Airlines spokesperson said that, disputes the teamster's narrative, the union’s claim of a bargaining impasse was "factually baseless." Under the Railway Labor Act – the labor law that governs these negotiations – a strike is not possible unless authorized by the National Mediation Board. Even then, there are a series of fail-safes, including presidential and congressional intervention, designed to prevent any kind of disruption in operations.
Louisville Business First's David Mann reported in February that negotiations between the Teamsters and UPS for a new national master contract, which will cover about 250,000 workers, is different this time around because contract talks are not staying behind closed doors
 

BruinsFan

Well-Known Member
#4
One potential complication in the negotiations could be the PAFCA vote at American. If American votes PAFCA in, as many are expecting, UPS loses a lead negotiator as the 549 president would then be out of the TWU. I am sure there are contingencies in place for this, but keep an eye on this.
 

who'swho

Don't hesitate. Penetrate!
#6
One potential complication in the negotiations could be the PAFCA vote at American. If American votes PAFCA in, as many are expecting, UPS loses a lead negotiator as the 549 president would then be out of the TWU. I am sure there are contingencies in place for this, but keep an eye on this.
I would venture to guess that negotiations would be put on hold until TWU 549 votes in a replacement President. 549 is compromised of 3 groups with each group having their own VP so it's possible 1 of them could step in as well.
 

69beers

Well-Known Member
#7
The AA vote has zero impact on UPS negotiations no matter which way it goes. The local president is there simply because the current bylaws state the person who holds that title will be at all negotiations. They are not and have never been a decision maker in our negotiations. Just like the president before him, and the one before that, it’s just a title and nothing more than a formality of no consequence.
 
#8
The AA vote has zero impact on UPS negotiations no matter which way it goes. The local president is there simply because the current bylaws state the person who holds that title will be at all negotiations. They are not and have never been a decision maker in our negotiations. Just like the president before him, and the one before that, it’s just a title and nothing more than a formality of no consequence.
Would make one wonder why you would need the TWU at all. As the saying goes, “ you can do away with the formalities. “
 

onemanwolfpack

Well-Known Member
#9
Is this the first dispatch group to go as far as a strike vote?
An Aircraft Dispatcher is the most underrated profession in the airline industry. As technology makes piloting large aircraft easier, it makes the dispatchers job more complicated.
Kudos to this UPS/TWU 549 group for wearing your balls on your sleeves and not letting UPS dictate what you're worth!
I've heard that dispatching at UPS is one of the most difficult dispatch jobs out there.
They cover every continent, various fleet types, predominantly midnight and weekend shift work. If UPS wants to attract qualified dispatchers they better wise up and be the top pay/benefits in the industry.✊
 

FM-2 Fan

Well-Known Member
#10
Is this the first dispatch group to go as far as a strike vote?
An Aircraft Dispatcher is the most underrated profession in the airline industry. As technology makes piloting large aircraft easier, it makes the dispatchers job more complicated.
Kudos to this UPS/TWU 549 group for wearing your balls on your sleeves and not letting UPS dictate what you're worth!
I've heard that dispatching at UPS is one of the most difficult dispatch jobs out there.
They cover every continent, various fleet types, predominantly midnight and weekend shift work. If UPS wants to attract qualified dispatchers they better wise up and be the top pay/benefits in the industry.✊
Even so, wouldn't UPS be a step up for a regional dispatcher? Wouldn't the pay be better? What about the prestige? Who hasn't heard of UPS? Maybe that's what UPS management is thinking? Perhaps UPS thinks that they can still get quality applicants even if they stand pat?
 

manniax

Well-met in the Ka-tet
#11
Even so, wouldn't UPS be a step up for a regional dispatcher? Wouldn't the pay be better? What about the prestige? Who hasn't heard of UPS? Maybe that's what UPS management is thinking? Perhaps UPS thinks that they can still get quality applicants even if they stand pat?
Prestige doesn't pay your mortgage. I think that UPS dispatchers want to be paid the same as similar work groups doing the same work on the same kind of equipment elsewhere in the US, and I don't think it's unreasonable for them to expect that. I've never seen management overjoyed about increasing rates of compensation at negotiation time. Considering that UPS is very profitable and also that they used to pay their dispatchers MORE than Southwest, AA, etc. I imagine that they will eventually come to terms on a new contract, although it may take a while.
 

Altimeter

Well-Known Member
#12
I’m ignorant to their pay scale, but I garuntee UPS is not having an issue getting dispatchers. The Regionals just pay so little, and great people grind it out for just such a possibility. Also, there doesn’t seem to be a reasonable way to get AA/DAL pay with a pension. That just doesn’t make sense. I’m also ignorant to how exactly their pension works, but it’s a cost to UPS that AA/DAL aren’t paying. If you start paying the workgroup significantly? more than the cost of the pension goes up as well.
 

FM-2 Fan

Well-Known Member
#13
Prestige doesn't pay your mortgage. I think that UPS dispatchers want to be paid the same as similar work groups doing the same work on the same kind of equipment elsewhere in the US, and I don't think it's unreasonable for them to expect that. I've never seen management overjoyed about increasing rates of compensation at negotiation time. Considering that UPS is very profitable and also that they used to pay their dispatchers MORE than Southwest, AA, etc. I imagine that they will eventually come to terms on a new contract, although it may take a while.
I'm not saying their dispatchers don't deserve to be paid the same-not at all. I was merely positing what UPS management may be thinking.
 

FM-2 Fan

Well-Known Member
#14
I’m ignorant to their pay scale, but I garuntee UPS is not having an issue getting dispatchers. The Regionals just pay so little, and great people grind it out for just such a possibility. Also, there doesn’t seem to be a reasonable way to get AA/DAL pay with a pension. That just doesn’t make sense. I’m also ignorant to how exactly their pension works, but it’s a cost to UPS that AA/DAL aren’t paying. If you start paying the workgroup significantly? more than the cost of the pension goes up as well.
Pension? What's that?
 

womanpilot73

Well-Known Member
#15
I’m ignorant to their pay scale, but I garuntee UPS is not having an issue getting dispatchers. The Regionals just pay so little, and great people grind it out for just such a possibility. Also, there doesn’t seem to be a reasonable way to get AA/DAL pay with a pension. That just doesn’t make sense. I’m also ignorant to how exactly their pension works, but it’s a cost to UPS that AA/DAL aren’t paying. If you start paying the workgroup significantly? more than the cost of the pension goes up as well.
It absolutely makes sense. Other airlines that no longer offer a pension give their employees profit sharing. We do not get that. Also, keep in mind that those who lost pensions did so when their airlines were in bankruptcy proceedings, all while UPS was still paying their dispatchers well above anyone else. UPS profits have only gone up, not down, and there hasn’t been any debt on the books to substantiate reducing our benefit levels. Regardless of who has a pension or who has profit sharing or whatever additional benefits other dispatchers are offered, we darn well deserve industry standard pay at the VERY LEAST. This airline used to be top of the industry in regards to pay and they are making record profits. We absolutely deserve what we are asking for.


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69beers

Well-Known Member
#16
I’m ignorant to their pay scale, but I garuntee UPS is not having an issue getting dispatchers. The Regionals just pay so little, and great people grind it out for just such a possibility. Also, there doesn’t seem to be a reasonable way to get AA/DAL pay with a pension. That just doesn’t make sense. I’m also ignorant to how exactly their pension works, but it’s a cost to UPS that AA/DAL aren’t paying. If you start paying the workgroup significantly? more than the cost of the pension goes up as well.
Help me out with a few things, if you please. Can you tell me more about the “garuntee” that we are not having any issue getting dispatchers? Does that include prospects turning down interviews or not showing up for ground school? What does the low pay at regionals have to do with UPS? Does consistently making over a billion in profit per quarter with higher utilization/productivity per dispatcher and a career of midnights seem reasonable to not a accept a reduction in benefit levels and fully funding the pension for everyone? What is the cost differential percentage of our DB plan compared to the DC plans at AA/DAL, and profit sharing bonuses that may be considered tax deferred retirement savings in some circumstances? How does a fixed dollar pension formula instead of a FAE go up with a significant pay raise?

Sorry, I’m a nuts-and-bolts kind of guy.
 

Altimeter

Well-Known Member
#17
It absolutely makes sense. Other airlines that no longer offer a pension give their employees profit sharing. We do not get that. Also, keep in mind that those who lost pensions did so when their airlines were in bankruptcy proceedings, all while UPS was still paying their dispatchers well above anyone else. UPS profits have only gone up, not down, and there hasn’t been any debt on the books to substantiate reducing our benefit levels. Regardless of who has a pension or who has profit sharing or whatever additional benefits other dispatchers are offered, we darn well deserve industry standard pay at the VERY LEAST. This airline used to be top of the industry in regards to pay and they are making record profits. We absolutely deserve what we are asking for.


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Uhhhh, not all of us get DAL level profit sharing. As far as bankruptcy goes, it makes sense cargo probably didn’t get affected. I’ve never worked cargo before and I bet it has its challenges, but why shouldn’t they be at intermediate pay somewhere between Regionals and Legacy? There’s just so much more inherent risk moving people over boxes. To say the level of responsibility is equal negates the whole business model. If you want Mainline money, work towards a mainline job. Might sound pretty douchey, but it is what it is.

I understand an increase in pay as time goes on, but to call Pension and Profit Sharing both apples is a bit much. Fight the good fight and all, but be realistic, too.
 

womanpilot73

Well-Known Member
#18
It absolutely makes sense. Other airlines that no longer offer a pension give their employees profit sharing. We do not get that. Also, keep in mind that those who lost pensions did so when their airlines were in bankruptcy proceedings, all while UPS was still paying their dispatchers well above anyone else. UPS profits have only gone up, not down, and there hasn’t been any debt on the books to substantiate reducing our benefit levels. Regardless of who has a pension or who has profit sharing or whatever additional benefits other dispatchers are offered, we darn well deserve industry standard pay at the VERY LEAST. This airline used to be top of the industry in regards to pay and they are making record profits. We absolutely deserve what we are asking for.


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Uhhhh, not all of us get DAL level profit sharing. As far as bankruptcy goes, it makes sense cargo probably didn’t get affected. I’ve never worked cargo before and I bet it has its challenges, but why shouldn’t they be at intermediate pay somewhere between Regionals and Legacy? There’s just so much more inherent risk moving people over boxes. To say the level of responsibility is equal negates the whole business model. If you want Mainline money, work towards a mainline job. Might sound pretty douchey, but it is what it is.

I understand an increase in pay as time goes on, but to call Pension and Profit Sharing both apples is a bit much. Fight the good fight and all, but be realistic, too.
Are you freaking kidding me? Let’s just leave this where you said “I’ve never worked cargo before” and forget the rest. Oh the ignorance. SMH. Oh yes, completely “douchey”. We’ll leave that part in too.


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Altimeter

Well-Known Member
#19
Are you freaking kidding me? Let’s just leave this where you said “I’ve never worked cargo before” and forget the rest. Oh the ignorance. SMH. Oh yes, completely “douchey”. We’ll leave that part in too.


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Saw that one coming. I’m sure we could agree that our job function is probably 85-90% the same, but moving people will allllllways be more volatile than boxes. It just is what it is. Boxes don’t have heart attacks, tweet out videos, or even have the capacity to consciously harm other people or property. I hope we’re all paid well, and I’ve never seen UPS’s scale, but I have seen an office get giddy AF when you guys open.
 

Flagship_dxer

Legacy Airline Dispatcher
#20
Are you freaking kidding me? Let’s just leave this where you said “I’ve never worked cargo before” and forget the rest. Oh the ignorance. SMH. Oh yes, completely “douchey”. We’ll leave that part in too.


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I dont agree with everything he says and I think you guys deserve a good deal but its completely ridiculous to compare profit sharing and a pension. I work at a legacy with profit sharing that is very small (less than 5%) and not contractually guaranteed. Management tomorrow can stop giving it. Our 401K matching (roughly 5%) is also not very good when compared to other legacy airlines. A pension is way more valuable than our tiny non-guaranteed profit sharing and our small 401K match.
 
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