Online sellers were sweating it out as the potential for a UPS strike drew near, but crisis averted – UPS announced on Tuesday it had reached a tentative collective bargaining agreement with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the union representing hundreds of thousands of UPS employees in the US.
We began receiving questions from readers about the impact of a strike on deliveries. Just prior to the agreement, we had asked UPS what would happen to packages still in the stream if the strike took place – it turns out the company was training employees.
“We started these negotiations prepared to increase the already industry-leading pay and benefits we provide our full and part-time union employees and are committed to reaching an agreement that will do just that,” a representative said.
But, they added, “Many of our U.S. employees are participating in training that would help them safely serve our customers if there is a labor disruption. This temporary plan has no effect on current operations and the industry-leading service our people continue to provide for our customers. This training is aligned with our ongoing commitment to safety and business continuity. These activities also will not take away from our ongoing efforts to finalize a new contract that increases our employees’ already industry-leading wages and benefits, allows UPS to remain competitive and provides certainty for our customers and the U.S. economy.”
In the post announcing the tentative agreement, UPS CEO Carol Tome said, “Together we reached a win-win-win agreement on the issues that are important to Teamsters leadership, our employees and to UPS and our customers. This agreement continues to reward UPS’s full- and part-time employees with industry-leading pay and benefits while retaining the flexibility we need to stay competitive, serve our customers and keep our business strong.”
The five-year agreement covers U.S. Teamsters-represented employees in small-package roles and is subject to voting and ratification by union members, according to the shipping carrier’s announcement.
The union also issued an announcement in which it highlighted provisions of the agreement, which it said protected and rewarded over 340,000 UPS Teamsters nationwide. It said the UPS Teamsters National Negotiating Committee unanimously endorsed the five-year tentative agreement. Member voting begins August 3 and concludes August 22.