Association of Parcel Workers of America expects to launch its campaign Friday to replace the Teamsters at United Parcel Service of America Inc. and take control of UPS employees' share of more than $50 billion in multiemployer pension funds and more than $1 billion in annual contributions.
The dissident labor group plans to ask 238,000 UPS workers represented by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters to sign individual petition cards requesting that the new organization represent them in collective bargaining, said Van Skillman, a UPS driver from Greensboro, N.C., and the president and co-founder of the organization.
The APWA cited better pension fund management and higher pension benefits as key reasons for seeking to replace the Teamsters.
The group needs at least 30% of the Teamster-represented UPS employees to sign the cards in order to ask the National Labor Relations Board to hold an election to determine which union will serve as the labor representative, Mr. Skillman said.
The $30.2 billion Western Conference of Teamsters Pension Trust Fund, Seattle; $20.7 billion Central States, Southeast and Southwestern Areas Pension Fund, Rosemont, Ill.; and $3.4 billion New England Teamsters and Trucking Industry Pension Fund, Burlington, Mass., are the three largest of 21 multiemployer Teamster funds covering UPS union members.
UPS contributed $1.289 billion to multiemployer funds in 2005, according to its most recent 10-K report. "The vast, vast majority of it" went to Teamster pension funds, said Norman Black, UPS spokesman; he didn't have a figure. Mr. Black declined to comment on the APWA effort.
Galen Munroe, Teamster press secretary, said in a statement, "We don't believe that the APWA is a legitimate labor union, they have no filings with the Department of Labor and they have never negotiated any contracts."