Contract negotiations are expected to begin between UPS and Teamsters Union in the spring before the current contract expires at the end of July 2023. Already, labor experts predict drivers and package handlers will leave before negotiations begin. on strike.
“The question is how long it will last,” said Todd Vachon, a professor of labor relations at Rutgers University. “The union president ran for office and won by taking a more belligerent approach, even though they were very close.” [to a deal], The general staff will be hungry to take on the company. ”
A UPS strike would then affect nearly every home in the country. An estimated 6% of the country’s gross domestic product is transported on his UPS trucks each year. The explosive growth of online retail has made the company and its drivers more important than ever to the country’s struggling supply chains. In addition to the company’s home delivery, we also deliver many products in stores, factories and offices.
UPS employs approximately 350,000 teamsters as drivers and package sorters in a global workforce of 534,000 full-time employees. And it’s growing fast — the company has added about 72,000 jobs representing his Teamster since the start of the pandemic.
In a statement earlier this month, the company said, “We want a deal that will give UPS the flexibility to win for our employees and stay competitive in a rapidly changing industry.” , have worked together to meet the needs of UPS employees, customers and the communities in which we live and work, and we believe we will continue to find common ground with Teamsters and reach good agreements. .For everyone involved.”
Anger over current contract
There are certainly signs of strain in the relationship between the company and the union.
O’Brien told CNN Business last week, “Our union members wake up every day to strike. I would say no. But are they fed up? Yes, they are.” I’m fed up,” he said. “Whether there is a strike or not is entirely up to the company.
According to UPS, delivery drivers make an average salary of $95,000 a year, and with benefits like a traditional pension plan, they’re worth $50,000 a year. UPS semi-tractor His driver’s salary is even higher. That’s much higher than most FedEx and Amazon wages, where many drivers work for small independent contractors.
The current contract expires at 12:01 am on August 1st. O’Brien pledges that the union will not allow any kind of contract extension past that deadline.
and he added The union will demand better working conditions, in addition to better wages and benefits. This includes adding air conditioning to the panel trucks used for UPS deliveries. This poses a health risk to drivers, the union said.
Record profits with UPS
The company often talks about how much they value the employees Teamster represents.
And in one important respect (employment numbers), despite the apparent strain, UPS is one of workers’ best friends among US corporate executives. UPS is one of the few unionized employers to significantly increase salaries and increase membership. In other companies, union membership has declined steadily or over decades.
“Everybody keeps getting rich, except our members,” said O’Brien.
She also tries to assure both investors and UPS customers that the company is prepared in case the union goes on strike. refused to
“Our goal with Teamsters is win-win-win,” she told investors in July. But she added that UPS is “developing a contingency plan.”