ups union calls off strike threat after negotiating pay raises
According to Teamsters general president Sean O’Brien, UPS has directly resulted from these negotiations by putting $30 billion in new money on the table. This contract establishes a new benchmark in the labor movement and raises the bar for all employees.
In accordance with the proposed five-year agreement, current full- and part-time UPS Teamsters will make $2.75 more per hour in 2023 and $7.50 more per hour overall. According to a Teamsters statement, wages for current part-timers will also be increased, with an hourly rate of no less than $21 starting immediately.
At UPS, new part-time hires will begin making $21 an hour and eventually move up to $23 an hour.
The five-year collective bargaining agreement that is in place will end on July 31. With roughly 340,000 UPS employees covered, it is the largest private-sector contract in North America. Local Teamsters chapters had been practicing pickets in recent weeks in case a strike was necessary if the company and the union were unable to reach an agreement by the end of the month.
The new contract still needs to be approved in August by union members from all over the nation.
Conflict existed between the two sides regarding part-time worker pay.
Early in July, the wages of part-time employees, who make up more than half of UPS’s unionized workforce, became the sticking point in contract negotiations. Asserting that UPS can afford to raise pay for its part-time employees, the union initially rejected UPS’ economic proposal.
As the company first reached $100 billion in revenue in 2022, UPS reported a record profit in 2017.
In a statement on Tuesday, UPS CEO Carol Tomé said that the company and Teamsters leadership had worked together to find solutions that would benefit all parties.
With the flexibility we require to remain competitive, serve our customers, and maintain a healthy business, this agreement keeps UPS’s full and part-time employees rewarded with benefits and pay that are among the best in the industry.
The union already won workplace safety concessions.
According to the company’s filings with the securities commission, the average UPS employee made $52,000 last year. Tomé’s salary was close to $19 million, or 364 times that amount.
After 30 days on the job, part-time union employees are currently paid $20 an hour on average, according to the company. But the union contests these assertions.
Prior to this, the union had made significant gains in the contract negotiations, which had started in April, regarding wages and workplace safety. Among other concessions, UPS agreed to install air conditioning in all new delivery vehicles, do away with mandatory overtime, and eliminate a two-tier pay structure for delivery drivers.
But until just a few days prior to a potential strike, wages and benefits for part-time employees remained unresolved for weeks.
The company lost $850 million during the last nationwide UPS walkout, which lasted 15 days and occurred in 1997. This year’s strike would have prevented millions of customers from receiving their packages across the country. Economic projections indicate that it might have cost the American economy more than $7 billion.
FedEx, Amazon, and the United States Postal Service, three of UPS’s main rivals, would not have been able to handle all the extra volume created by a UPS strike. In 2022, UPS delivered an average of 24.3 million packages each day.
An official from the Teamsters called UPS’s earlier training of management staff to fill in during the strike an “insult” to unionized workers.
The UPS strike threat came as tens of thousands of workers from a variety of industries from Hollywood to the hospitality sector walked off the job in recent weeks over pay and working conditions.