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Union Members Overwhelmingly Approve UPS Deal

'This is the template for how workers should be paid and protected nationwide'
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 11, 2023 1:04 PM CDT
Updated Aug 22, 2023 6:16 PM CDT
Want to Make $170K? Drive for UPS
A UPS truck is shown in front of a UPS Store in San Francisco.   (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
UPDATE Aug 22, 2023 6:16 PM CDT

Teamster members have approved what union president Sean O'Brien says is "the best contract in the history of UPS," ending the risk of a strike. The new five-year deal will see compensation for full-time delivery drivers rise to $170,000 by the end of the contract. The union says 86% of members voted for the deal, its largest-ever margin for a contract at the company, CNN reports. The contract, retroactive to Aug. 1, also includes pay raises for part-time workers and an agreement for UPS to install air conditioning in new delivery vehicles. Union leadership voted 161-1 in favor of the deal. "This is the template for how workers should be paid and protected nationwide, and nonunion companies like Amazon better pay attention," O'Brien said.

Aug 11, 2023 1:04 PM CDT

It's good to be the king. But if you can't be the king, it's not so bad to deliver boxes to the king in a big brown truck. USA Today reports that full-time UPS drivers will make an average of $170,000 in annual pay and benefits under their new contract. Part-time employees will make a bit more than $25 an hour, though with full health care and pension benefits, CEO Carol Tome said in an earnings call this week. The company and the Teamsters union agreed to the five-year contract while on the brink of a potentially paralyzing strike. The union represents about 340,000 UPS employees, and while they are still voting on the pact, "we expect our new labor contract to be ratified in two weeks," said Tome, per CNBC.

A post at Insider notes that the headline number of $170,000 figure represents total compensation, including benefits, and not base salary. Still, the outlet notes the news has been a hot topic of conversation among not-so-happy tech workers on the job-posting site Blind. "How is (it) possible that a driver makes much more than average Engineer in R&D?" complained a worker at the autonomous-trucking company TuSimple. Many comments were of that nature, but an Amazon employee fired back, "Stop being an elitist!" and suggesting that many tech workers could not hack driving a truck for 12 hours a day in sometimes harsh weather. (More UPS stories.)

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