UPS and the Teamsters Union reached a tentative agreement for a new five-year contract covering 340,000 workers. News of the tentative deal came six days before the July 31st deadline, when UPS workers were planning to go on a nationwide strike.
What’s in the “Historic” Tentative Agreement UPS Reached with the Teamsters
Per a statement from the union, the deal “raises wages for all workers, creates more full-time jobs, and includes dozens of workplace protections and improvements.” Part-time workers will get a raise to at least $21/hour and full-time workers will average $49/hour. With those raises, current workers will receive an additional $2.75 per hour this year and $7.50 an hour more during the five-year contract. In addition, UPS also agreed to start buying only air-conditioned delivery vans (UPS trucks currently don’t have air conditioning), make MLK Jr. Day an official day off, and end mandatory overtime on workers’ days off.
Teamsters General President Sean O’Brien said that the deal is worth $30 billion. In a statement, he said the following:
“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.”
Carol Tomé, the CEO of UPS, issued a statement on behalf of the company, saying that the two sides “reached a win-win-win agreement on the issues that are important to Teamsters leadership, our employees, and to UPS and our customers.”
The Agreement Averts a Potential Strike This Summer
Along with USPS and FedEx, UPS is one of the major carriers in the U.S. As such, it is responsible for a significant portion of package deliveries in the country (and the world, overall). A nationwide strike at UPS would have not only upended the package delivery business but would have also strained other industries that rely on timely shipments in order to function properly. Such industries include retail outlets, restaurants, pharmacies, and more.
The last Teamsters strike at UPS took place in 1997. That year, 185,000 UPS Teamsters halted deliveries within the company’s network for over two weeks before they reached an agreement with UPS.
What Does This Mean for My Business?
The fact that UPS reached a tentative agreement means that its business and workers will continue operating past July 31st as normal. Individuals and businesses will still be able to ship their packages at their local UPS Store, schedule pickups, and receive deliveries without interruption. Moreover, discounted postage from UPS will continue to be available to purchase through online shipping software partners.
Shippers should note that the deal must still be ratified to take hold. The Teamsters Union will vote on the contract starting on August 3rd.