(en) A UPS Striker's Story : On the Line - Alaska- Aug 14th

Lyn Gerry (redlyn@loop.com)
Fri, 15 Aug 1997 11:49:29 +0000

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------- Forwarded Message Follows ------- Date: Thu, 14 Aug 1997 20:12:44 -0800 (AKDT) From: Richard <richard@polarnet.com> To: 104525.2505@compuserve.com Subject: On the Line - Alaska- Aug 14th

A leaden sky hung low, veiling Denali and the Alaskan Range from view. Mist filled the air at the end of the pavement...at the UPS headquarters in the far North. A flock of geese head south, starting their annual migration.

Early in the morning, Leo Aguilar walks the line. This Latino man would prefer to be spending time with his wife and two sons, but today the line is more important. He has worked for UPS for 10 years....2 years as a part-timer and 8 years as a full time driver. He has been active in Zion Lutheran Church, teaching Sunday School and serving on the council. He has been a basketball coach for the city's youth league. But in the last few years he had to give all that up.

"UPS has taken the approach of *Big Business in America.* The more you do, the more they want. UPS doesn't time my work by the minute... they time it by the second! The boss tells me when I am supposed to start work, but you have to keep working til the job is done. If you have packages to deliver, you stay and deliver them. I can't promise to be at a church meeting or at a ball game anymore. You never know when you will just have to keep working."

I ask him what he says to those who criticize the strike in saying "If you don't like your job, go get another."

Leo doesn't have to think twice. " I really like my job. I am pretty certain that all the drivers like their jobs. But I am worried over the pension." He continues, "I don't really trust them with the pension. Things are OK now but what about two years or five years from now? If times are tough, will they cut my pension? I just trust my union trustees more than the boss with my retirement."

Leo remembers his work as a part-timer. "I came in at 5 AM and did my part-time work then I usually worked a shift as a driver. The pay was OK at first look, more take home than when I went full-time. But I got screwed in my retirement funds. You see, the company pays the retirement plan only 15 cents on the dollar paid to full time employees. So I was working full time hours for two whole years, but my pension credit is for 15 cents on the dollar. I worked long hours for UPS and my pension account doesn't show it. They have the full time work, why not have full time workers?"

Leo Aguiler looks forward to retirement, to spending time with his family, his church, his community. He looks forward to being able to promise to be at a meeting or to help with a ballgame.

Leo Aguiler....walking the line in the early Alaskan morning....walking for his future, his faith, his family.

Distribute Widely and Freely Richard Seward Fairbanks Alaska August 14, 1997

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