UPS, Teamsters reach deal to avoid strike

Updated Jul 27, 2023
A crowd of picketers holding signs stands in front of a bald man with a bullhorn.
A crowd of practice picketers stands in front of a man with a bullhorn. UPS and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters reached a tentative labor deal on Tuesday.
International Brotherhood of Teamsters

UPS and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters on Tuesday reached a tentative collective bargaining agreement, narrowly avoiding a strike on Aug. 1

"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," says Carol Tome, UPS CEO. "This agreement continues to reward UPS' full- and part-time employees with industry-leading pay and benefits while retaining the flexibility we need to stay competitive, serve our customers and keep our business strong." 

[RELATED: Teamsters call off strike at YRC Freight, Holland]

More than 340,000 UPS Teamsters were poised to strike Aug. 1. The two sides agreed on more than 50 other points, but wages remained a sore subject. 

"Rank-and-file UPS Teamsters sacrificed everything to get this country through a pandemic and enabled UPS to reap record-setting profits," says Teamsters General President Sean M. O'Brien. "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." 

The tentative agreement, which still must be approved by union members, includes wage increases of $2.75 per hour in 2023 and $7.50 more per hour over the length of the five-year contract. Existing part-time workers will get raises up to no less than $21 per hour immediately and part-time seniority workers earning more under a market rate adjustment would still receive all new general wage increases. 

"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," says Brandy Harris, a part-time UPS employee and Teamster from Local 174 in Seattle. "Our hard work has paid off -- from those members and leaders negotiating for more at the table to my sisters and brothers building a credible strike threat around the country. Our union was organized and we were relentless. We've hit every goal that UPS Teamster members wanted and asked for with this agreement. It's a 'yes' vote for the most historic contract we've ever had."

Wage increases for part-time workers will be double the amount in a previous UPS-Teamsters deal, and existing part-time workers will receive a 48% average total wage increase over the next five years. For full-time employees, UPS Teamsters will stay the highest paid delivery drivers in the nation, the Teamsters say, making up to $49 per hour. 

UPS Teamsters will also get more health and safety precautions, including air conditioning and cargo ventilation. All larger delivery vehicles, Sprinter vans and package cars purchased after Jan. 1 will have in-cab air conditioning. All cars will get two fans and air induction vents in the cargo compartments. 

Teamsters in the U.S. and Puerto Rico will meet July 31 to review and recommend the agreement. Member voting will run Aug. 3-Aug. 22. 

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