UPS and Union Reach Tentative Contract: UPS’s deal with its union may have stopped a nationwide strike. The Teamsters, who represent 340,000 UPS workers, and the company signed a preliminary contract agreement on Tuesday.
This month, the biggest contract in the private sector in North America was renegotiated. The biggest problem was that more than half of the unionized UPS workers were part-time.
The Teamsters used the word “historic” to describe it. The agreement will help both full-time and part-time UPS union members. They’ll get $2.75 an hour in 2023 and $7.50 over the five years of the contract. The agreement raises the starting pay for part-time workers, putting an end to the union’s worries about exploitation. Part-time workers will now get $21 an hour instead of $16.20. Part-timer pay will go up by $20.
Negotiations solved more problems. No longer do drivers work on MLK Day. Cars that had air conditioning were safer. UPS promised that small delivery trucks bought in the US after January 1, 2024 would have air conditioning. Drivers who used to work only on the weekends now work full time.
Carol Tomé, the CEO of UPS, said that the agreement was good for the leadership of the Teamsters, employees, UPS, and customers. She said that the arrangement would keep UPS’s competitiveness, customer service, and commercial position while giving full-time and part-time workers competitive pay and benefits.
Members of the UPS union will vote on the proposed agreement from August 3 to 22.
UPS and the union had a fight over an unfair contract that had been in place for five years. Unionized workers said that part of UPS’s recent growth was because the pandemic changed what customers wanted and that their unfair contract should be fixed.
Anderson Economic Group says that a 10-day UPS strike would cost small businesses, people who work from home, and online retailers close to $7 billion.
Businesses across the country got ready for a strike. Macy’s thought about delivery options in case of a strike. The Retail Industry Leaders Association, which includes Best Buy, CVS Health, and Kohl’s, praised the tentative agreement, saying that the threat of a strike would hurt operations.
UPS mirrored the low number of people in unions in the U.S. This summer, United Auto Workers and Starbucks talked about going on strike.
UPS and its unionized employees are cautiously optimistic that the strike will not happen and that the tentative agreement will make things better.