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UPS, Teamsters Announce Labor Agreement, Averting US Strike

July 25, 2023
"We demanded the best contract in the history of UPS, and we got it," said Teamsters President Sean O'Brien.

Editor’s note: Several publications at Endeavor Business Media have been tracking the possibility of a strike at UPS. The following stories investigate the issues and impacts.

The Teamsters union and UPS shipping announced Tuesday that the two sides had reached a tentative agreement on a five-year contract that would avert a crippling strike across the United States.

Some 340,000 UPS workers had stood poised for a stoppage as Teamsters leaders pressed for increased wages, including for part-time workers. While backed by union leadership, the proposed deal now faces rank-and-file workers, who will vote on the agreement starting August 3 and concluding August 22.

The Teamsters described the agreement "overwhelmingly lucrative," listing provisions that included wage increases for both full-time and part-time workers, the addition of the Martin Luther King Day as a company holiday for the first time and the elimination of a controversial "two-tier" wage system.

"We demanded the best contract in the history of UPS, and we got it," said Teamsters President Sean O'Brien.

"UPS has put $30 billion in new money on the table as a direct result of these negotiations. We've changed the game."

UPS Chief Executive Carol Tome described this agreement as "win-win-win" for UPS, its customers and the Teamsters.

"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," Tome said.

O'Brien, who is eyeing union organizing campaigns at Amazon and other large companies, has for months telegraphed he would take a hard line in negotiations with UPS.

The odds of a strike appeared to rise earlier this month when talks broke down before resuming Tuesday.

The existing contract was due to expire at the end of July, setting the stage for a potential strike from August 1.

In recent weeks, the prospect of a strike has raised worries among economists and among businesses that rely on the shipping giant.

Shares of UPS rose 0.8% to $189.87 shortly after midday.

Copyright 2023, Agence France-Presse

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