UPS & Teamsters Avert Strike With Tentative New Labor Agreement





UPS and the Teamsters have reached a tentative agreement on a new contract that staves off what could have been an historic strike. UPS is one of the backbones of what is becoming a digital shopping world. Now these packages will continue to flow, according to a press release from the Teamsters.

The new contract, which will still need to be ratified by the 340,000-plus UPS employees in the union, will keep employees working for the next five years.

The near-strike comes amid a wider reckoning as a number of large companies face disgruntled employees seeking better pay and benefits as they wrestle with inflation boosting the cost of living. The most high-profile example are the actors and writers’ unions, which have sent celebrities on the picket lines to seek more benefits and pay from the studios.

While those strikes will have a longer term impact on what we watch, a UPS strike would’ve had an immediate effect on the things we get.

“Teamster labor moves America. The union went into this fight committed to winning for our members. We demanded the best contract in the history of UPS, and we got it,” Teamsters General President Sean M. O’Brien said in the release. “UPS has put $30 billion in new money on the table as a direct result of these negotiations. We’ve changed the game, battling it out day and night to make sure our members won an agreement that pays strong wages, rewards their labor, and doesn’t require a single concession. This contract sets a new standard in the labor movement and raises the bar for all workers.”

UPS, for its part, could ill afford a work stoppage.

“Together we reached a win-win-win agreement on the issues that are important to Teamsters leadership, our employees and to UPS and our customers,” said Carol Tomé, UPS chief executive officer. “This agreement continues to reward UPS’s full- and part-time employees with industry-leading pay and benefits while retaining the flexibility we need to stay competitive, serve our customers and keep our business strong.”

“Rank-and-file members served on the committee for the first time, so we got to show up every day to support our fellow Teamsters and share their stories,” said Brandy Harris, a part-time UPS Teamster with Local 174 in Seattle and a member of the Teamsters National Negotiating Committee. “Our hard work has paid off — from those members and leaders negotiating for more at the table to my sisters and brothers building a credible strike threat around the country. Our union was organized and we were relentless. We’ve hit every goal that UPS Teamster members wanted and asked for with this agreement. It’s a ‘yes’ vote for the most historic contract we’ve ever had.”

Under the new contract, UPS workers will see $2.75 more per hour this year, with a raise of $7.50 per hour over the length of the contract. The Teamsters notes that UPS drivers will be the highest paid delivery drivers in the nation, with an average top rate of $49 per hour.

The Teamsters representatives will meet on July 31 to formally recommend the agreement, and voting takes place between Aug. 3 and Aug. 22.

UPS declined to comment beyond the statement provided.

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