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Aug 28, 2023

UPS Workers Approve New Contract, Ending Strike Threat

UPS and Teamsters have reached a 5-year deal, ending the looming UPS workers strike threat.

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In the final week of July this year, UPS and Teamsters, the union representing 340,000 UPS workers, averted a strike by reaching a tentative agreement on a new contract. Now, about a month later, UPS workers ratified the new labor agreement with UPS. This historic agreement officially ends the catastrophic strike threat and secures wage increases and new protections for UPS workers. 


The Path That Led to the Potential UPS & Teamsters Strike

The previous 5-year contract between UPS and Teamsters ended on August 1, 2023, but conversations about benefits started much earlier than that. In April, UPS workers shared that they wanted better pay and working conditions. However, the negotiations in April went no where.

By the middle of June, Teamsters began to threaten to go on strike at the beginning of August (aka the end date for the previous 5-year contract) because negotiations were still not going anywhere. 

In early July, negotiations were starting to look a little better. UPS and Teamsters were able to come to an agreement on key issues like requiring A/C in new trucks and eliminating a lower-paid category of full-time drivers, but again, the talks stalled over part-time pay. Better pay and working conditions were always the main focuses for the Teamsters' negotiations, so they refused to let it go unresolved. 

In the final week of July, UPS and the Teamsters reached a tentative agreement.


A Potential Strike Is Averted

Once the tentative agreement was reached, it was then moved to ratification by the union members. During the process of ratification, UPS operations continued under the current contract. 

After about three weeks, an overwhelming 86.3% voted in favor of the new contract on August 22, 2023. An official agreement had been successfully reached, marking a momentous historical achievement.


Highlights of What the New Contract Will Offer

Highlights of the new 5-year contract for UPS workers includes: 

  • Both full-time and part-time UPS union workers will receive $2.75 more for every hour in 2023
  • New part-time hires will start at a $21 an hour (up from $15.50) and can advance to $23 
  • Safety protections will include having A/C on the new vehicles purchased beginning next year
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day will be a full holiday for workers (for the first time ever)
  • There will be no forced overtime
  • On average, UPS drivers will earn $170,000 in annual pay/benefits by the end of the five-year contract  

 

A Labor Movement Victory

The agreement between UPS and Teamsters marks a victory for the labor movement, which might potentially add momentum to organizations in other major negotiations. 

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