Teamsters Set UPS Strike Date

Negotiations have made progress but not on pay
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 16, 2023 2:18 PM CDT
Teamsters Authorize UPS Strike on Aug. 1
A UPS truck makes deliveries in Northbrook, Illinois, in May.   (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Members of the Teamsters union, which represents more than 340,000 United Parcel Service workers, have voted to authorize a strike if contract negotiations underway don't produce an agreement. The union announced Friday that 97% of those voting supported a strike to begin Aug. 1, the day after the existing contract expires, CNN reports. "This vote shows that hundreds of thousands of Teamsters are united and determined to get the best contract in our history at UPS," said Sean O'Brien, Teamsters general president. The negotiations have been going on for months, per the Hill.

UPS said progress is being made on a deal that would affect logistics warehouse workers and package delivery drivers. "The results do not mean that a strike is imminent and do not impact our current business operations in any way," the company said in a statement. The union said the two sides have agreed on dozens of issues but aren't close on pay. Eliminating the company's reliance on lower-paid drivers is another outstanding issue. UPS is the nation's largest private-sector unionized employer, and a strike would be the biggest against one employer in US history, per CNN.

The US economy would feel a strike: UPS trucks transport goods representing an estimated 6% of the nation's gross domestic product. In addition, the company's labor contracts historically have set the national standard for workers and helped provide them with a route to the middle class, per the Washington Post. The Teamsters point out that UPS profits have nearly doubled over the current contract's five years. "If this multibillion-dollar corporation fails to deliver on the contract that our hardworking members deserve, UPS will be striking itself," O'Brien said. (More United Parcel Service Inc. stories.)

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