UPS Gets The Message On Workers Rights

ITF campaign to get message of workers' rights across to global delivery firm UPS starts in Sydney and does the world rounds.

AUSTRALIA

The global Action Day was kicked-off in Oceania by members of the Australian Transport Unions Federation (RTBU, TWU and MUA) led by the ITF President Paddy Crumlin (MUA) on September 1.

The group of top union leaders and truck, train and maritime workers protested outside the UPS facility near Sydney Airport.

The delegation leafleted some 300 UPS workers' cars after a request to meet with management was refused. Crumlin and Tony Sheldon (TWU)  expressed their disappointment towards the company over its appalling behaviour towards workers and its failure to recognise the workers' rights to join a union.

Paddy Crumlin noted reports that UPS management in Turkey was making new workers swear to God they would not join a union before getting a job.

"UPS is guilty of gross civil rights, human rights, and labour rights abuse," he said. "We are not going to go away until UPS gives those workers the respect and decency they deserve."

Sheldon told those gathered that the intimidation and bullying by the company would not be tolerated. TWU's UPS workers as well as their colleagues from TNT and Tolls joined the event.
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JAPAN
Led by Takayuki Takahashi (Unyu Roren), 18 unionists from Shitetsu Soren, JR Rengo, JSU, Zenkoku Kowan and Koun Rokyo visited the UPS office in Tokyo to hand over their protest messages to the management. The delegation was received by Masato Umeno, President of UPS Japan. In the meantime, JRU has sent its protest letter to the company and has also written to TÜMTIS to advise the union that the JRU will be supporting the workers at the picket-line. More Japanese affiliates are expected to provide their financial support next week. <Telephone report by Yuji Iijima and email report by Mizue Taoka>
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KOREA
The ITF's national coordinating committee in Korea, KTF sent its protest letter on 30 August. Today, 40 members from the ITF unions of dockers, seafarers, taxi, automobile, postal, aviation, railway and expressway workers gathered at the UPS office in Seoul at 13:30 and met with its director, JK Ma and four other staff but were refused permission to enter their office. The Korean manager promised to convey the KTF's message to the headquarters in USA. The unionists rallied and adopted a solidarity letter signed by all union leaders present. The delegation highlighted that they were there to support the Turkish workers but also the Korean UPS workers. <Email report by HK Kim>
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HONG KONG
This afternoon, transport workers from the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU) and its Federation of Transport Workers Organization (HKFTO) held a demonstration in front of the UPS office. The HKCTU's Yu-Loy Wong said "We urge UPS to uphold the core labour standards, especially freedom of association and the right of collective bargaining. It is also our prime concern that UPS negotiates with the Turkish union in good faith and reinstates 157 workers ". Sam-choi Chan from HKFTO, handed a petition to the representative of UPS. However UPS only allowed four unionists to go into the office's reception. <Email report by Yu-Loy Wong>
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THAILAND
Members of the ITF-Thai unions visited the UPS Head Office on Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok to protest this morning. Key members of the UPS management were having a conference call when representatives of the ITF affiliates paid their visit. For this reason, only the human resources manager met with the unionists. He acknowledged that their managing director had received the message that ITF-Thai had delivered on 27 August and confirmed that it had been sent to the UPS headquarters in USA. The delegation informed him of the ITF demands and updated him about the worldwide actions that may take place on 15 September if the company does not solve the problem in Turkey. The manager was quite upset and nervous to see the unionists distributing leaflets about ITF-Thai and the UPS dispute in Turkey and talking to the workers. <Email report by Su-angcana Tungworachet>
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PHILIPPINES

This morning, aviation union PALEA delivered a protest letter in support of TÜMTIS to the UPS office in Paranaque City, Metro Manila. The letter was received by the country manager. A contingent of PALEA officers and members accompanied the protest action. A copy of the letter was also mailed to Scott Davis, CEO in the USA. <Email report by Gerry Rivera>
PHOTOS


JORDON

Represenatives of the ITF and the Air Transport and Tourism Union in Jordan visited the UPS office in Amman and handed out their letters to Mohamad Alemam, the UPS authorized agent in Jordan. The unionists explained the dispute in Turkey and the ITF's solidarity campaign. The Amman office will send both letters by UPS courier service to the CEO in Atlanta, USA. <Email report by Bilal Malkawi>
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TURKEY
On 1 September, TÜMTIS organised public press declarations and protest actions in eight different cities (İstanbul, Adana, Ankara, İzmir, Balıkesir, Gaziantep, Bursa and Mersin). In İstanbul the union led an enthusiastic and peaceful demonstration to the UPS Headquarters in Zeytinburnu. More than 1,000 people including TÜMTIS members, representatives from the unions affiliated with the national labour centre TURK-IS, dismissed UPS workers and their families, broader civil society groups attended the march. ITF affiliates such as BTS, HAVA-IS and DADDER joined the protest. TÜMTIS president Kenan Öztürk introduced the news of the world's protests to the participants and reminded them that the action day will be repeated on 15 September if the demands are not met by the UPS management. The role of the ITF in coordinating an unprecedented global day of action in solidarity with the Turkish workers was welcomed. Unions from countries including Australia, Sweden, the Philippines, Argentina, Japan, Romania, France, UK, Norway, India, Zimbabwe, Spain, Singapore and Mauritania have sent their messages of solidarity to the rally. <Email report by Demet Dinler>
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NETHERLANDS
FNV Bondgenoten has campaigned vigorously in support of the sacked UPS workers in Turkey over the past months. They joined the Action Day today and their activists have played a key role in Amsterdam to protest against the UPS management in Turkey and have got that message across to both the public and press. Dutch media are reporting that the entrance to the UPS depot in Amsterdam is currently closed by 40 tonnes of sand. Jan de Jong of the FNV stresses that the union is ready for another round of activities on the next action day, 15 September. <Email report by Edwin Atema and phone report by Jan de Jong>
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BELGIUM
A number of activists from the Belgian unions BTB and SETCa demonstrated at the gates of UPS in Deigem/Brussels this morning in solidarity with TÜMTIS. From 05:00 to 10:00 activists handed out leaflets as part of a picket line at the company's head office gates, which slowed traffic. Passing workers signed a petition and UPS drivers showed their solidarity by displaying in the front window of their vans a leaflet showing the Turkish flag. UNI was also represented at the events. In Antwerp the regional secretaries of BTB gathered at the head office for a solidarity action outside the union building. Media interest in the activity has been good. <Email reports by Dinneke Fleerackers and Hendrik Vermeersch>
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SOUTH AFRICA
SATAWU has organised solidarity activity at different locations in the country. In Gauteng, 38 members of the union gathered outside the UPS offices as part of a picket. In Durban, SATAWU members have been phoning UPS South Africa this afternoon between 14:00 and 16:00 as a targeted time during the company's busy operations to protest the dismissals in Turkey. <Phone reports by Doris Nhlapo, Chris Nkosi and Thandanani Ngwane>
 
INDIA (Mumbai)
A delegation comprising more than 100 Indian seafarers led by L. P. Vimalson of the National Union of Seafarers of India (NUSI) demonstrated outside the UPS office in Mumbai. The delegation stressed that the dismissals violate the fundamental rights of workers as enshrined in the Core Conventions of the ILO. The union also said that the worldwide agitation against the dismissals of the Turkish workers of UPS has already raised an ethical question on the 2012 London Olympics Games as UPS is one of the official sponsors. In a letter directly addressed to Scott Davis, CEO of UPS in the US, Abdulgani Y. Serang, NUSI stated that “the Indian seafarers are closely watching the situation" and cautioned that "if the situation does not improve then transport workers worldwide, who are affiliated to the ITF will go on the offensive to safeguard the interests of the dismissed Turkish workers”. <Email report by Abdulgani Y. Serang>
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INDIA (Chennai)
Supported by the local dockers and rail unions, the DHL Employees’ Union visited the UPS senior managers in Chennai to deliver their protest letter. The management allowed only five members to take part in the protest activity in front of their office. <Email report by L Bhaskaran>
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NORWAY
The Norwegian trade unions have organised a joint demonstration today. Eight unions - including the ITF-affiliated Norsk Transportarbeiderforbund, Norsk Lokomotivmannsforbund and Fagforbundet - participated in the one-hour demonstration that was held outside the UPS terminal in Oslo at 15:00. The Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO) addressed the demonstration and the unions' protest letter was delivered to the UPS administration who will forward the letter to the company's headquarters in the US. <Phone report by Lars Johnsen and email report by Roald Nyheim>

FINLAND
A delegation from Finnish union AKT, including the editor of the union newspaper, visited the local management of UPS and handed over a letter to be delivered to Scott Davis, the CEO of UPS. A representative of the Finnish trade union explained the content of the message and stressed that the international trade union movement would monitor developments at the UPS company in Turkey very carefully. The local UPS management was aware of the ITF Action Day as they had already received information from their headquarters who had also advised the local management not to allow photos to be taken both inside the UPS premises and inside the terminal area. <Email report by Jussi Koivunen>
 
SWEDEN
In a meeting with the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise, of which UPS is a member, Lars Lindgren of the Swedish Transport Workers' Union touched upon the Turkish dispute. He challenged the employers' postion that the dispute in Turkey is a local problem which should be resolved locally and warned them that trade unions around the world saw this as their issue and mobilisation of international solidarity would continue. The union will further raise the awareness of its members on this matter. <Phone report by Lars Lindgren>

UKRAINE
Representatives of the railway and construction workers' union visited the UPS office in Kiev on 30 August to deliver their protest letter. The union reports that the management showed reluctance to accept the ITF's message but it was received in the end. <Email report by Sergii Ivanskyi>

LATVIA
The Latvian Trade Union of Public Services and Transport Workers LAKRS sent their protest letter to the UPS Headquarters in Atlanta earlier today expressing their solidarity with their colleagues from TÜMTIS. <Email report by Juris Kalnins>
 
ESTONIA
The representatives of two major trade unions in the country - the Estonian Transport and Road Construction Workers' Trade Union - ETTA and the Estonian Seamen`s Independent Union (EMSA) - organised joint activities visiting the Embassy of Turkey in Tallinn at 12:30 and handing over their protest letter to the Ambassador. Additionally, the union forwarded information to the Estonian national media describing the situation in UPS Turkey and the ITF Action Day, thus raising public awareness about the company and its anti-union attitude. <Email and phone report by Hendrik Toomel>
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LITHUANIA
Supporting the demands of TÜMTIS, representatives from the Lithuanian Transport Workers' Federation LTWF organised a picket today at the Embassy of Turkey in the Old Town of Vilnius at midday. The union also handed over their protest letter to the Ambassador of Turkey in Lithuania expressing their deep concern over the anti-union behaviour of UPS in Turkey. <Email and phone report by Jonas Petraska>
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BULGARIA
The Federation of Transport Trade Unions in Bulgaria has also sent their protest letter to the UPS Head Office in Atlanta today expressing their solidarity with TÜMTIS. <Email report by Slava Petrova>

*****
ITUC: Trade Unions Worldwide Show Their Solidarity with Sacked Turkish
 
 
TWU: Unions to send a message to UPS




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