Butch Traylor, UPS Driver

Butch Traylor, UPS Driver

A weeklong electronic journal.
Aug. 29 1997 3:30 AM

Butch Traylor, UPS Driver

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       I arrive at the center at about 8 a.m. Dennis Moore, my union business agent, calls to confirm arrangements for a contract presentation meeting this Saturday. I tell him that I have received a half-dozen pending grievances since coming back to work. He says that the Tifton, Ga., center has filed over 200 grievances since last week. It appears that local management is violating the contract on a wholesale level since losing the strike. Most of the grievances involve seniority violations, where the company has brought back scabs before more senior employees who honored the strike.
       The part timers in my center are all back at work, and my load of packages is at about the normal level for this time of year. The only bad news is that the air packages are late arriving at the center and the drivers must wait for them.
       At 9:30 a.m. I pull out of the center parking lot and head for downtown Valdosta. The dog days are back and I'm thinking that this is going to be a rough day, but at a red light I look at the car in front of me and see a bumper sticker that reads, "I fantasize about the UPS man." Man, I love this job!
       A middle-aged woman named Claire stopped me in the afternoon. She had come out to the picket line during the strike, but I hadn't had a chance to meet her then. She said that she worked at a large craft store as a department manager. Even though her store and department had increased sales, she had been shifted from full time to part time and had lost her health benefits. Claire was also still responsible for the same work. She said that she was going to have to quit soon, because it was too expensive for her to commute for only part-time pay. She wanted me to know that she supported us, and that the exploitation of part-time employees extended to the white-collar workforce as well.
       I got a call from an old friend. She was in the area last week visiting her in-laws when she saw a news story on the strike. She joked that she wanted to get my autograph while it was still worthless. I assured her that my signature would be worthless for a long time to come, and that my 15 minutes of fame are about up, but I would treat her to lunch the next time we met. For a while it was exciting to have television cameras pointed at you with people interested in what you had to say, but I am looking forward to slipping back into the anonymity of just being known as the UPS guy.

Butch Traylor is a driver for United Parcel Service, and shop steward for the Teamsters Local 728 in Valdosta, Ga. He went back to work last Wednesday, Aug. 13, after a 15-day strike.