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UPS Reaches Tentative Contract Potentially Dodging Strike

Written by on July 25, 2023

UPS has reached a tentative contract agreement with its 340,000-person strong union, potentially averting a strike that threatened to disrupt logistics nationwide for businesses and households alike.

The agreement was announced Tuesday, the first day that UPS and the Teamsters had returned to the table after contentions negotiations broke down earlier this month, to talk over remaining sticking points in the largest private-sector contract in North America. Negotiators had already reached tentative agreements on a host of issues but continued to clash over pay for part-time workers who make up more than half of the UPS employees represented by the union.

The Teamsters called the agreement “historic”.

Under the tentative agreement, existing full- and part-time UPS union workers will get $2.75 more per hour in 2023, and $7.50 more per hour over the length of the five-year contract. The agreement also includes a provision to increase starting pay for part-time workers, which the union had called the most at risk in the company’s workforce of being exploited. Starting pay for part-time workers will be $21 per hour, it said, up from $16.20 today. The average pay for part-timers had been $20, according to the union.

The two sides had already agreed tentatively to make Martin Luther King Jr. Day a full holiday, and ending forced overtime on drivers’ days off. Tentative agreements on safety issues had also been reached, including equipping more trucks with air conditioning. UPS agreed to add air conditioning to U.S. small delivery vehicles purchased after January 1, 2024.

UPS had also agreed to eliminate a lower-paid category of drivers who work shifts that include weekends, and convert them into regular full-time drivers.

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