Teamsters meet to set bargaining demands for next contract with UPS

In early October, UPS said it was in contract talks with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) on new collective bargaining agreements. And yesterday the Teamsters National Negotiating Committee met to set the bargaining agreements to “fight for the contract we deserve.”

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In early October, UPS said it was in contract talks with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) on new collective bargaining agreements.  And yesterday the Teamsters National Negotiating Committee met to set the bargaining agreements to “fight for the contract we deserve.”

UPS and the IBT are currently working on a five-year contract that is set to expire on July 31, 2018. The organizations have has contractual relationships going back to the 1930s, UPS said, adding that since their first contract was signed, the number of Teamster-represented UPS staffers has climbed from “a few thousand” to more than 250,000.

UPS Vice President of Public Relations Steve Gaut recently told LM that the agreements cover about 250,000 UPS personnel in the UPS package business and in the UPS Freight business, including its small package delivery drivers, inside operations sorters and loaders and other operations personnel.  Also covered are the UPS Freight drivers, dock workers and other personnel.

Some of the key issues pertaining to the UPS Teamsters bargaining demands and the contract, according to Teamsters United, include: wages, raising part-time pay, healthcare (protecting and improving health benefits and restoring benefits lost in the 2013 contract; pensions/retiree h&w; job security (fighting the subcontracting of feeder work and job elimination through SurePost); more full-time jobs, and safety (improving safety protections including package weight, heat, cold, ventilation, stress, air-ride seats and equipment), among others.

“UPS and the union have many shared objectives and our intent is to negotiate in an environment of mutual respect,” said Al Gudim, UPS Labor Relations President, in a statement made in early October.  “We believe all parties recognize that taking care of our customers with reliable service is the key to maintaining a company that rewards our employees and provides excellent job security. We are in a rapidly changing industry and look forward to working together with union negotiators to strongly position UPS for the future.”

Highlights of the current UPS Master Agreement as per the Teamsters Package Division, which commenced on August 1, 2013 and expires on July 31, 2018, include:

  • guidelines for the size and weight of packages, puts more packages back on UPS trucks, and protects Teamsters work and jobs;
  • limits the size of UPS SurePost packages to 10 pounds in weight and less than 3 cubic feet in size and limits SurePost as an offering for business to residential only and cannot be used for business-to-business shipments;
  • UPS will have to provide more detailed information and within a timely manner when proposing a change of operations;
  • over the terms of the agreement based on a 46-hour workweek with wages compounded from the first general wage increase through the last, a full-time driver will earn over $25,000 more over the course of the current agreement than the previous agreement;
  • effective 1/1/2014, those in the UPS health insurance plan moved to the TeamCare plan, which is jointly trusted by employees and the union; and
  • effective 1/1/2017 full-time employees in the UPS/IBT pension plan at the company for 35 years or more will receive $3,900 per month and 30-year employees at any age will be $3,400 per month plus $100 per year of service up to $3,900, among others 

About the Author

Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. Contact Jeff Berman

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