Working at UPS is exhausting—and the company always wants it done yesterday. It can be tempting to look at supervisors working as a necessary evil—even a helping hand.
But supervisors aren’t helping us when they do bargaining unit work. They’re taking money out of our wallets. Members lose out on the opportunity to work extra hours—even overtime.
UPS has to pay members who file a grievance double-time pay for supervisors working violations.
Local 804 members are winning thousands of dollars in Supervisors Working grievances. You can too.
This article and other materials produced by Local 804 will help you stop supervisors working and make UPS pay for violations.
Step One: Talk to the Supervisor Who’s Working.
When you see a supervisor working, the first step is to ask them why.
A grievance can and will be thrown out if we don’t first TALK to the supervisor and try to correct the sups working violation. On the grievance form you MUST write down the name of the supervisor or manager who was talked to about the violation.
Usually supervisors will make an excuse about why they’re working (someone has gone to the bathroom, or absenteeism.) Whatever the excuse is, write it down so we have a record and they can’t change their argument later.
Step Two: Offer to Do the Work.
Ask the supervisor to be able to do the work or ask the supervisor to leave it so that you, or the most senior union employee who wants the work, can do it later.
Write down what the supervisor says, so we have a record if they refuse to give the work to a union employee. (Note: Write your notes off the clock.)
Step Three: Document the Violation
To win the grievance, we need a record of the basic facts. Documenting a sups working violation is not hard. Just make sure to include the five W’s:
- Who was working?
- What work were they doing?
- Where were they doing it? (Which box line or work area etc.)
- When did they start working and when did they stop? Including starting and stop time will give management less wiggle room to debate how long the supervisor worked.
- Witnesses, if any. Witnesses aren’t required but having them strengthens your case.
Once you’ve documented these facts, talk to your steward about filing a grievance.
If you’re nervous about filing a grievance yourself, talk to your steward or business agent about filing the grievance on your behalf.
Can This Work?
Let’s be honest. The problem of supervisors working has been around for a long time. And we won’t eliminate the problem overnight.
But Local 804 members can and are making a difference—and they are collecting thousands of dollars in penalty pay.
Working together is the best way to succeed. Local 804 is working with stewards and members to put together Sups Working Task Forces in many buildings. To join a Task Force or get one started on your shift, talk to your Business Agent.
What Does the Contract Say?
Article 3, Section 7 of the National Contract says that the company shall not “send any employee home and then have such employee’s work performed by a supervisor” and that the company must “maintain a sufficient workforce to staff its operations with bargaining unit employees.” (Article 3, Section 7—National Contract)
If you see a supervisor working, make a note of any members who were sent home early. That information will make it harder for UPS to blame absenteeism for the fact that supervisors were doing our work.
Article 3, Section 7 also says that the company shall “exhaust all established local practices to first use bargaining unit employees including double shifting, early call-in and overtime.”
If management did not ask members to double shift, come in early or work overtime, then they don’t have an excuse for supervisors working.