UPS, Teamsters Reach Tentative Contract Agreement To Avoid Strike

Liz Morton
Liz Morton


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UPS and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters returned to the bargaining table today to hash out contract details, leading to a tentative agreement to avoid strike action.

The Teamsters posted a statement on their website:

“We’ve Changed the Game”: Teamsters Win Historic UPS Contract
(WASHINGTON) – Today, the Teamsters reached the most historic tentative agreement for workers in the history of UPS, protecting and rewarding more than 340,00

“UPS came dangerously close to putting itself on strike, but we kept firm on our demands. In my more than 40 years in Louisville representing members at Worldport — the largest UPS hub in the country — I have never seen a national contract that levels the playing field for workers so dramatically as this one. The agreement puts more money in our members’ pockets and establishes a full range of new protections for them on the job,” said Teamsters General Secretary-Treasurer Fred Zuckerman. “We stayed focused on our members and fought like hell to get everything that full-time and part-time UPS Teamsters deserve.”

“Rank-and-file members served on the committee for the first time, so we got to show up every day to support our fellow Teamsters and share their stories,” said Brandy Harris, a part-time UPS Teamster with Local 174 in Seattle and a member of the Teamsters National Negotiating Committee. “Our hard work has paid off — from those members and leaders negotiating for more at the table to my sisters and brothers building a credible strike threat around the country. Our union was organized and we were relentless. We’ve hit every goal that UPS Teamster members wanted and asked for with this agreement. It’s a ‘yes’ vote for the most historic contract we’ve ever had.”

UPS released a statement as well:

UPS Teamsters reach agreement in labor negotiations
UPS and Teamsters reach agreement in labor negotiations

UPS and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the union representing about 330,000 UPS employees in the U.S., have reached a tentative collective bargaining agreement.

“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,” said Carol Tomé, UPS chief executive officer. “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.

Highlights of the tentative agreement include:

  • Historic wage increases. Existing full- and part-time UPS Teamsters will get $2.75 more per hour in 2023, and $7.50 more per hour over the length of the contract.
  • Existing part-timers will be raised up to no less than $21 per hour immediately, and part-time seniority workers earning more under a market rate adjustment would still receive all new general wage increases.
  • General wage increases for part-time workers will be double the amount obtained in the previous UPS Teamsters contract — and existing part-time workers will receive a 48 percent average total wage increase over the next five years.
  • Wage increases for full-timers will keep UPS Teamsters the highest paid delivery drivers in the nation, improving their average top rate to $49 per hour.
  • Current UPS Teamsters working part-time would receive longevity wage increases of up to $1.50 per hour on top of new hourly raises, compounding their earnings.
  • New part-time hires at UPS would start at $21 per hour and advance to $23 per hour.
  • All UPS Teamster drivers classified as 22.4s would be reclassified immediately to Regular Package Car Drivers and placed into seniority, ending the unfair two-tier wage system at UPS.
  • Safety and health protections, including vehicle air conditioning and cargo ventilation. UPS will equip in-cab A/C in all larger delivery vehicles, sprinter vans, and package cars purchased after Jan. 1, 2024. All cars get two fans and air induction vents in the cargo compartments.
  • All UPS Teamsters would receive Martin Luther King Day as a full holiday for the first time.
  • No more forced overtime on Teamster drivers’ days off. Drivers would keep one of two workweek schedules and could not be forced into overtime on scheduled off-days.
  • UPS Teamster part-timers will have priority to perform all seasonal support work using their own vehicles with a locked-in eight-hour guarantee. For the first time, seasonal work will be contained to five weeks only from November-December.
  • The creation of 7,500 new full-time Teamster jobs at UPS and the fulfillment of 22,500 open positions, establishing more opportunities through the life of the agreement for part-timers to transition to full-time work.
  • More than 60 total changes and improvements to the National Master Agreement — more than any other time in Teamsters history — and zero concessions from the rank-and-file.

Stay tuned for updates in this ongoing story!

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Liz Morton is a seasoned ecommerce pro with 17 years of online marketplace sales experience, providing commentary, analysis & news about eBay, Etsy, Amazon, Shopify & more at Value Added Resource!