Was the new labor agreement between UPS and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters agreed upon on June 25 a game-changer for workers’ rights and protection?
The Teamsters sure think so, and they have 30 billion reasons to make their case.
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The new deal that provides raises, more time off, and more full-time jobs for the delivery giant’s 340,000 UPS employees.
“UPS has put $30 billion in new money on the table as a direct result of these negotiations,” said Teamsters General President Sean M. O’Brien. “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.”
For its part, UPS paid up for the deal, but the threat of a major strike that could have cost the U.S. economy $7 billion goes away, not to mention the company gets a happier workforce.
The deal was resurrected in the past few days after a breakdown in negotiations in early July. If no agreement was reached, UPS workers, with the backing of the Teamsters, were set to strike on July 31.
“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”, UPS CEO Carol Tomé said in a statement. “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.”
The deal certainly has some sweeteners for UPS workers.
The new contract includes a $2.75 per hour raise for full-time and part-time workers along with an additional $7.50 per hour over the remainder of the five-year contract. Current part-time workers are also guaranteed at least $21 per hour in pay under the terms of the agreement.
When union members sign off on the deal, UPS delivery drivers will earn, on average, $49 per hour, according to the Teamsters.
Additionally, UPS has agreed to install air conditioning in larger company trucks, vans, and sedans that are brought on board after January 1, 2034. Company workers will also get Martin Luther King Day off, starting in 2024.
UPS Teamsters will meet on July 31, 223 to review the agreement. A vote on the deal should take place between August 3 and August 22, 2023, Teamsters officials reported.
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