For the UPS

 international TU meeting in London.

Information on the Trade Union situation at UPS-Italia



Trade union membership:

The company has always behaved in a very tough manner towards Trade Union members. It attempted to intimidate those workers that had anything to do with the shop stewards. These were moved to isolated offices or to offices where they could cause no harm. It was made clear that to have anything to do with the Union would have blocked any possibility of promotion within the company. On top of all this everything possible was done to discredit the Union, by refusing to sign any kind of agreement with the shop stewards.


One scandalous example of this kind of behaviour is the refusal on the part of the company to sign any form of “minutes” of the meetings with Trade Union representatives, even of those meetings where a common agreement had been reached. The company has only respected the minimum legal requirements and those unquestionable parts of the National Haulage Labour Contract. The shop stewards’ committee (Rsa) has always functioned with great difficulty due to this behaviour. As a result of all this it is only in the last few days, thanks to the struggle that has opened up to force the company to open negotiations for the renewal of the company labour contract, that it has been possible to organize a national joint UPS-Italia shop stewards’ assembly.


Membership figures


                                                                            12/95                                        12/96                                        1/97  

Vimodrone(telephone operators)                                                                                                                       Cgil 15-Cisl 1

Milan (Headquarters)                                      Cgil 59- Cisl 29                        Cgil 68- Cisl 23                        Cgil 71- Cisl 23

Rome                                                                  Cisl 11                                       Cisl 9                                         Cisl 15 

Bologna                                                             Cgil 10                                      Cgil 11                                      Cgil 11 

Bergamo                                                           Cgil 7- Uil 8                              Cgil 7- Uil 5                              Cgil 8- Uil 4

Turin                                                                  Cisl 4                                         Cisl 4                                         Cisl 4

Florence                                                            Cgil 1                                        Cgil 15                                      Cgil 18 

Como                                                                Cisl 1                                         Cisl 1                                         Cisl1

Reggio Emilia                                                    Cgil 1                                        Cgil 1                                        Cgil 1


Total                                                                   131                                           144                                            173


At the Milan headquarters there are 7 shop stewards; in Vimodrone 3 shop stewards have been nominated directly by the Union while the first election of a shop stewards committee is being organized; in Rome 2 shop stewards; in Bergamo 2, in Florence 1 and in Bologna 2. There are 17 shop stewards in all.


How many unions are there in the company?

Apart from the above listed “Confederal” unions, in Bergamo there are 6 members of the UGL (ex-CISNAL, a Union linked to the neofascist party, the MSI).


Recognised collective bargaining agreements

UPS workers’ rights are defined by the national transport workers’ labour contract, which was last signed in 1995, valid for four years.

On the other hand the truck drivers, about 500 in all, have individual contracts with the company and are regarded formally as self-employed workers.


UPS branches in Italy

Milan -Vimodrone - Ancona - Bari - Bergamo - Bologna - Bolzano - Brescia - Como - Florence - Genoa - Leghorn - Naples - Novara - Perugia - Pescara - Ravenna - Reggio Emilia - Rome - Siena - Turin - Trento - Udine - Varese - Verona - Venice - Vicenza - Treviso.


Loading and unloading is concentrated in two HUBs (Milan and Bologna).

The company is planning shortly to concentrate this activity in Bologna with the construction of a new supertechnological HUB (like the one in Louisville).

In this sector the policy of the company is to give out work on an individual “self-employed” contract basis. In fact in UPS-Italia there are no more than 62 “workers” in this sector. As we have already stated above, the drivers are formally self-employed workers with individual contracts. That is why, so far, it wasn’t even thinkable to attempt to unionize these workers. The company can easily put them under pressure. There has never been an organized representative body of these workers. Only in the last few weeks, thanks to the initiative of the Milan UPS shop stewards, have two metings of the drivers been organized. In the second of these meetings a committee was elected to collectively represent the interests of these workers within the company.


Economic situation of UPS-Italia

According to information provided by UPS-Italia, the company accumulated a loss of 100,000 million lira ($62 million) between 1989 and 1992, which was covered by the parent company. In 1994 and 1995 losses were much reduced, 2,100 million and 2,300 million lira ($1.3 million and $1.4 million) respectively.

The 1996 balance sheet is not yet available, however it seems there has been a certain fall in the number of clients, which was planned by the company because it is aiming to concentrate its activity in international and/or high cost delivery (express and express plus) 4§(Product Lunch)


In 1995, and particularly in 1996, the company has made important investments, both in the setting up of a centralized telephone answering service in Vimodrone and in the automization of parcel collection (DAI computers for the drivers) and weighing and distribution.


Cost of labour


                                                               1992                            1993                             1994                            1995


Directors                                               18                                  16                                  12                                  12

Managers                                             30                                  32                                  32                                  32

Office workers                                     678                                727                                749                                789

Manual workers                                  69                                  73                                  62                                  45 


Total                                                      795                                848                                855                                878

Cost*                                                    44.1                            47.2                             46.8                            49.4

*(in 1,000s of 1,000,000s of liras; 1620 lira = $1)




Break-up of the different services as a percentage of total income (January - October 1996):


                                                                           Parcels                 Income                   Income                    %

                                                  consignments                                      (lira)                      per consignment

World Wide exp                     485.906                   522.859                  36.000                     74.000                        -4.5%

World Wide Expedited          60.849                     126.504                  13.200                     216.000                      -18%

Euro Express                           689.775                   845.789                  36.700                     53.000                        -10%

Euro Expedited                        269.868                   530.126                  13.200                     48.000                        -2.9%

Domestic and

guaranteed priority                3.573.095                6.095.112               79.500                     22.000                        -27%

Loading                                    9.030                                                      11.000                     1.218.000                   -11%

TOTAL                                    5.088.523            8.120.390            189.600               30.000                     12.2%(average)