United Parcel Service said Tuesday it has reached a tentative agreement on a five-year contract with unions representing more than 325,000 U.S. employees. This would be an important step towards avoiding a possible strike when the current agreement expires on 1 August.
“Together, we have reached a win-win-win agreement on issues that are important to Teamsters management, employees, UPS and our customers,” said Carol Tomé, CEO of UPS, in a statement. “This agreement continues to provide industry-leading compensation and benefits to UPS full-time and part-time employees while maintaining the flexibility we need to remain competitive.”
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, a labor union, reported in June that UPS members voted to approve the strike, with 97% of those who participated in the vote supporting the strike. The interim agreement will now move forward for ratification by member states.
UPS handles about a quarter of the tens of millions of packages shipped each day in the US, and a strike could hit economic activity, especially the e-commerce industry.
Unions cited the company’s strong pandemic-era performance last year, which saw adjusted net income up more than 70% from 2019, as the reason workers deserved a big raise.
In particular, it stresses the need to improve wages for part-time workers, who make up more than half of the US workforce, represented by Teamster, and the union is their representative. Said They earn “near minimum wage” in many fields.
Negotiations broke down in early July, mainly over part-time wage issues, but talks resumed on Tuesday morning.
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