The Impending Teamsters UPS Strike (Part 2)

June 23, 2023 Deyman Doolittle

ups teamsters union strike

Everyone aware of the contract negotiations between UPS and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters is watching these negotiations closely. The deadline is fast approaching on July 31, 2023, for the two sides to come to a deal, as this is when the current contract expires. If a strike were to occur, it could have global implications affecting shipping and receiving processes. 

Recently, the Teamsters Union representing UPS workers held a vote on whether they would strike if a deal is not finalized by the deadline. That strike authorization vote passed on June 16th, with an overwhelming majority of their 340,000 members saying they would strike. It’s clear that the Teamsters Union is serious about the changes they are requesting.

Sean M. O’Brien, Teamster General President, said of the vote: “This vote shows that hundreds of thousands of Teamsters are united and determined to get the best contract in our history at UPS. If this multibillion-dollar corporation fails to deliver on the contract that our hardworking members deserve, UPS will be striking itself. The strongest leverage our members have is their labor and they are prepared to withhold it to ensure UPS acts accordingly.”

In response to the approval of the strike, UPS executives are staying positive that they will get a deal done at the bargaining table. They have said that authorization votes and approvals are standard steps in negotiation processes. UPS executives remain confident they will find a middle ground with the Teamsters before the deadline.

ShipSigma is following these negotiations closely to bring you the most accurate information and resources in the shipping industry.

Where Labor Negotiations Currently Stand with the Teamsters Union

A vote passing that the Teamsters will strike doesn’t mean that one will happen, it just means the Teamsters are prepared if terms aren’t final by the end of next month. It may even be the push that’s needed to help both sides come to a conclusion. We’ve already seen several terms agreed upon in contract talks since the vote passed.

Over the past week, one of the key components of negotiations was agreed upon by both sides – the improvement of cooling measures to provide a better working environment for employees. UPS will deploy air conditioning and heat shields in their facilities, and provide fans for company vehicles.

The positive results on the cooling measures are a great start, but the Teamsters are still standing firm on other measures they want to see taken before they’re ready to come to a deal. One of the main sticking points is the pay increase they are requesting. They would like to see a 10% bump in wages, but UPS has so far only agreed to a 5% increase.

The Teamsters are also pushing for more full-time jobs, improvements in benefits packages, less required overtime, video cameras for driver protection, and additional job security measures. On their end, they feel confident that they will be able to push for what they want and create a deal that benefits everyone.

The Current Impacts of Contract Negotiations

Work is ongoing at UPS since the shipping and receiving industry is always working in high demand. However, that doesn’t mean that there haven’t been impacts from the current negotiations and uncertainty from businesses who partner with UPS.

Currently, UPS’s annual quarterly filings have shown that their daily package volume has decreased by over 5% in Q1 compared to Q1 statistics from 2022. While that may not sound like a lot, with the amount of shipping volume that UPS covers, that amounts to a decrease in revenue of around $137 million.

The Potential Impact of a UPS Teamsters Strike

If the strike were to go through, it would be the largest in U.S. history and heavily impact a multibillion dollar corporation. It would have vastly greater impacts than the last UPS strike that occurred in 1997. Today, many consumers and businesses rely on efficient shipping processes with consistent rises in online sales that show no indication of slowing down anytime soon.

A strike from the Teamsters would cut the capacity of UPS down to below 10% of their normal capabilities and current business operations. Both FedEx and the USPS would have to take on other packages and shipments that could not be fulfilled by UPS during that time which would likely result in shipping delays and other consequences due to their inability to keep up with the volume.

The potential consequences of the strike sound bleak, but it can also be seen as a clear path toward achieving a deal between both sides. Both know the outlook if something doesn’t happen, and it could ultimately hurt UPS and the employees if the company suffers drastically from a strike.

Both UPS and the Teamsters have stated that they are dedicated to getting a deal accomplished. As the deadline draws nearer, it’s expected that more significant progress will be made.

ShipSigma Is Closely Watching the Negotiation Progress

We’re aware of how stressful it can be as a business owner watching negotiations like these and wondering how everything will turn out. After all, everyone could be impacted if a deal doesn’t go through.

Our team at ShipSigma is closely watching the progress, and we are dedicated to helping our customers through this phase, no matter the result. Rest assured that we will continue providing the most accurate and up-to-date information on shipping processes to help you make informed business decisions.

To learn more about the services we offer at ShipSigma and how we can help you reduce your shipping fees, contact us today.


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