UPS, Teamsters reach agreement after threats of a strike: Here’s what workers are getting

UPS and the Teamsters, the union that represents approximately 340,000 UPS employees, have reached a preliminary agreement on a new five-year contract. This agreement was made shortly after the resumption of discussions on Tuesday in Louisville, Ky.

The consensus tentative contract between the company and the union, described by UPS CEO Carol Tomé as a “win-win-win agreement,” helped avoid a potentially crippling blow to the U.S. Economy and the company’s logistics network.

The Teamsters announced in a statement that the provisional agreement includes “over 60 overall modifications and enhancements to the National Master Agreement.” According to the union, there were no compromises made by the rank-and-file members.

In the history of the United States, the most significant strike by a single employer would have been carried out by the Teamsters, who issued threats and engaged in months of intense bargaining before reaching a tentative agreement.

Sean O’Brien, the President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, stated that we demanded the best contract in the history of UPS. Our union went into this fight committed to winning for our members. The Teamsters are advancing labor in America.

UPS is also impressed with the provisional agreement.

Tomé stated that in order to remain competitive and retain flexibility, we need to continue rewarding UPS employees with industry-leading benefits and pay, while also serving our strong business and customers.

The highlights of the contract for the workers’ union include numerous improvements and workplace protections. The tentative five-year contract has been overwhelmingly hailed by the Teamsters as “lucrative” and is filled with dozens of benefits.

Wage increases for UPS employees

UPS workers rallied in front of the UPS Centennial Hub ahead of a potential strike on Aug. 1 on July 18. The strike has been averted.

In a press statement, the Teamsters announced that current full- and part-time UPS Teamsters will receive an additional $2.75 per hour in 2023, as well as an extra $7.50 per hour throughout the duration of the agreement.

Without delay, current part-time employees will be elevated to a minimum of $21 per hour. Moreover, over the course of the next five years, existing part-time workers will experience an average total wage hike of 48%. Part-time employees with seniority, earning above the new base rate, will also benefit from general wage increases.

New part-time workers will begin at $21 per hour and progress to $23 per hour.

The increases in the new tentative agreement will be twice as high as those in the previous contract, as stated by the Teamsters. In the previous national contract, the general wage increase for 2022 was $1. However, under the new agreement, this rate would increase to $2.

Salary increases for full-time workers will raise the average highest rate to $49 per hour.

Driver classification changes

Fred Zuckerman, General Secretary-Treasurer of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, talked to UPS workers at rally on July 18 at UPS Worldport ahead of a potential strike on Aug. 1.

The Teamsters said that the system of having two wage tiers was unfair, and they wanted to end the practice of placing seniority into the equation. They also proposed that drivers who work Monday-Friday shifts and do not have a traditional work schedule should be immediately reclassified as regular package car drivers, while those who have flexible schedules should be classified as “22.4s.” Output: The Teamsters stated that the two-tier wage system was unjust, and they advocated for discontinuing the practice of incorporating seniority. They also recommended that drivers who work non-traditional schedules from Monday to Friday should be promptly reclassified as regular package car drivers, while those with flexible schedules should be designated as “22.4s.”

Days off and seasonal work

A UPS driver reaches to blow his truck

Teamster drivers will not be forced to work overtime on their scheduled days off, as they will have two options for their driving schedule. Martin Luther King Jr. Day becomes a full holiday for the Union, the first one for all Teamsters. Martin Luther King Jr. Day becomes a full holiday for all Teamsters.

Union part-time employees will be given preference for seasonal work in November and December, with a guaranteed eight-hour workday and a maximum duration of five weeks.

Heat safety in vehicles

UPS worker Chris Wallace, right, waves at drivers as he and members of Teamsters Local 89 began a practice strike outside Worldport, the largest sorting and logistics facility in America on June 28 in Louisville, Ky. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters says UPS presented "an appalling economic counterproposal" during national negotiations for a new labor contract.

Starting from January 1, 2024, UPS plans to equip all their bigger delivery vehicles, sprinter vans, and package cars with air conditioning. Every vehicle will have air induction vents and two fans installed.

UPS to add more jobs, fill open positions

UPS will create 7,500 fresh union positions and occupy 22,500 available roles.