UPS has used technology to build one of the largest and most successful delivery services in the world. Unfortunately, the company has used that same technology to harass and discipline workers. In addition to calling the company out on any contract violations, Local 804 stewards are leading the way for making technology work for union members.
Local 804 was the first Teamster local in the country to win the right for shop stewards to use iPads and other electronic tablets to process grievances and represent members.
Ryan Kelly, a driver and steward from the Laurelton Building, recently spoke at a Local 804 Steward Training about the effective use of the iPad for tracking cases and processing grievances. He explained that stewards can use UPS’s systems to help “Keep the company honest and stop them from playing fast and loose.”
Kelly, a 9-year UPS member, has been a steward for three years. Two years ago, he started using his iPad in his union duties. He has found that it saved him time and helped him to become better organized. Rather than having to rifle through notebooks and scraps of papers, all the information is available quickly and easily in one place.
He offered the following pointers to stewards interested in using iPads or similar devices:
- Download the “Employee Tracking” app. It is available in the apple store. Similar apps can be downloaded for other tablet devices.
- These apps provide an easy way to document the date, time and the Who, What, Where and Why of a case as well as providing a quick reference down the line.
- Tablets are ideal tools for tracking employee histories and the steps taken in a given case. When properly utilized, they often provide more precise records than what the company supplies.
- Shop stewards can download EZ grievance forms and other contract enforcement materials from the 804 website.