Oakland, CA–In a Sept. 3 message on the reelection campaign Website of International Brotherhood of Teamsters Union president James Hoffa Jr., Teamsters western region vice president Chuck Mack (who is also Hoffa’s vice presidential running mate) warns that a strike following the expiration of the United Parcel Service-Teamsters contract at the end of July 2002 is likely. The union will hold its elections later this year.
“It’s not that we want a battle, we want settlement,” Mack’s statement reads. “But [UPS’s] arrogance, its disrespect for our members and union mitigate against agreement. You gotta believe that UPS learned nothing from the 1997 strike. Conditions have gotten worse. Mandatory overtime, supervisors working (day in, day out), unsafe working conditions, and direct orders over dispatch and subcontracting, are the order of the day.”
But UPS spokesperson Norman Black says Mack’s politically charged comments should be kept in perspective. “Setting aside what one person is saying on the Web is horribly premature,” Black says. “We feel our employees are in better shape today than they’ve been in years and that company morale has never been higher. We’re all looking forward to getting a good contract when the current one expires at the end of next July, and we don’t have any reason to believe otherwise.”