July 18, 2024 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

UPS and the Teamsters Have Reached a Tentative Agreement To Prevent A Strike

Agreement Comes With Wage Increases, Full-Time Jobs, and Workplace Protections

By Dolores Quintana

In a welcome development, the Teamsters have achieved a tentative agreement with UPS, which will affect the careers and lives of over 340,000 UPS Teamsters nationwide. This five-year contract, unanimously endorsed by the UPS Teamsters National Negotiating Committee, marks a significant milestone in the labor movement. 

Notably, it includes substantial wage increases for all UPS employees, creating more full-time positions, and an array of workplace protections and enhancements. These provisions represent a triumph for the union and signify UPS’s commitment to valuing its workforce.

Representatives from the 176 UPS Teamster locals across the United States and Puerto Rico are scheduled to convene to assess the tentative agreement. Following the review by the UPS Teamster locals, all members will receive a comprehensive list of the contract’s enhancements and provisions. Locals will organize member meetings to discuss the agreement in detail. Subsequently, Teamsters will have the opportunity to cast their votes electronically on the offer.

The voting process is scheduled to commence on August 3, and UPS Teamsters will have several weeks to cast their votes. The voting period will conclude on August 22.

Teamsters General President, Sean M. O’Brien, said via the Teamsters press release, “Rank-and-file UPS Teamsters sacrificed everything to get this country through a pandemic and enabled UPS to reap record-setting profits. Teamster labor moves America. The union went into this fight committed to winning for our members. We demanded the best contract in the history of UPS, and we got it. UPS has put $30 billion in new money on the table as a direct result of these negotiations. We’ve changed the game, battling it out day and night to make sure our members won an agreement that pays strong wages, rewards their labor, and doesn’t require a single concession. This contract sets a new standard in the labor movement and raises the bar for all workers.”

Fred Zuckerman, the Teamsters’ General Secretary-Treasurer, praised the contract’s positive impact on workers, particularly those at the largest UPS hub in the country, Worldport in Louisville. He emphasized that the agreement elevates the conditions and pay of UPS Teamsters, addressing their needs and providing vital on-the-job protections. He said, “UPS came dangerously close to putting itself on strike, but we kept firm on our demands.”

The success of the negotiations is attributed, in part, to rank-and-file members’ direct involvement in the bargaining process. Brandy Harris, a part-time UPS Teamster and member of the Teamsters National Negotiating Committee, lauded the unity and determination of the union members, who presented a credible strike threat to support their cause. She said, “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,”

Although the contract is lengthy, there are a number of notable highlights that come with this potential contract: 

Wage Increases: Existing full- and part-time UPS Teamsters will receive significant hourly raises, amounting to $2.75 per hour in 2023 and $7.50 more per hour throughout the contract’s duration.

Part-Time Wage Improvements: Part-time UPS Teamsters will see their wages raised to a minimum of $21 per hour immediately, and those earning more due to market rate adjustments will still receive all new general wage increases. The contract provides a 48 percent average total wage increase for existing part-time workers over the next five years.

Top-Paid Delivery Drivers: Full-time UPS Teamsters will retain their position as the highest-paid delivery drivers in the nation, with an average top rate of $49 per hour.

Ending the Two-Tier Wage System: All UPS Teamster drivers classified as 22.4s will be reclassified as Regular Package Car Drivers and placed into seniority, eliminating the unfair two-tier wage system.

Safety and Health Protections: The agreement includes provisions for vehicle air conditioning and cargo ventilation, with UPS equipping in-cab A/C in larger delivery vehicles, sprinter vans, and package cars purchased after Jan. 1, 2024.

Additional Holiday: All UPS Teamsters will observe Martin Luther King Day as a full holiday for the first time.

Elimination of Forced Overtime: No more forced overtime on Teamster drivers’ scheduled days off.

Seasonal Work Improvements: UPS Teamster part-timers will have priority for seasonal support work with their own vehicles, enjoying an eight-hour guarantee. Seasonal employment will be limited to five weeks from November to December.

More Full-Time Opportunities: The contract creates 7,500 new full-time Teamster jobs and fulfills 22,500 open positions, offering part-timers greater opportunities to transition to full-time roles.

Record-Breaking Changes: The agreement includes more than 60 changes and improvements to the National Master Agreement, with zero concessions from the rank-and-file.

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