SFIA Asks President for Help to Avoid a UPS Strike

Labor contract negotiations between the United Parcel Service (UPS) and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, representing 340,000 UPS drivers and package handlers, have stalled, and if an agreement is not reached by the end of the month (July), Union employees have authorized a strike as early as August 1st. UPS moves an estimated $3.8 billion in goods per day, almost 6 percent of the U.S. GDP, and UPS competitors have stated they do not have the capacity to handle the additional 20 million packages a day. SFIA urged President Biden to engage in the labor talks to ensure there is not an unnecessary disruption in supply chains.

The two sides have reached a tentative agreement on many issues, including 55 non-economic issues like reducing temperatures inside trucks and UPS will re-classifying weekend drivers as ‘regular drivers’ eligible for full benefits. The sides remain at an impasse over part-time pay; Teamsters want to increase the starting wage from $15.50/hour to $20/hour. UPS counters that after 30 days, the average wage of a part-time worker is $20/hour, and the employee receives healthcare and pension benefits.

The Teamsters are holding firm and using these negotiations to show what they can do for workers as they look to expand into companies like Amazon. Teamsters President Sean O’Brien commented on July 1 that the labor talks are “the largest collective bargaining agreement in any private sector union,” and the contract could “set the tone and set the standard high for labor — not just the Teamsters, but the entire labor movement.” The Teamsters will remain on the job through the ratification process if an agreement is reached. If no agreement is reached, or if the contract is not ratified, UPS workers will strike.

With agreement on almost all the issues, SFIA believes the Administration’s involvement in the negotiations will lead to a deal. The President and Labor Secretary were instrumental in resolving rail and west coast port strikes. Labor unrest is an area where government involvement can avoid domestic disruptions in supply chains.

Click here to view the letter.

For more information, please contact Bill Sells, SVP Government Relations & Public Affairs, at [email protected].

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