UPS Teamsters Impending Strike (Part 3)

July 21, 2023 Joe Jordan

UPS Teamsters Impending Strike

Last month, negotiations between UPS and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters seemed to be in a promising place. Both sides reached a crucial agreement on changes surrounding heat and workplace safety. That involved improving airflow, comfort, and temperatures in driver vehicles.  

However, talks had stalled since then. UPS reported on July 7th that the Teamsters walked away from the negotiating table when an agreement couldn’t be made on aspects like employee wages and benefits. On the other hand, the Teamster reported that UPS walked away for similar reasons. The Teamsters have been and remain strong in these negotiations that they want to be compensated for the value they provide.

While talks remain stalled currently, there is still hope for a resolution. One reason for this hope is that, on a more positive note, it was reported by both UPS and the Teamsters on July 19th that there are plans for talks to resume as early as the week of July 14th.

During the stalled negotiations, both sides have been taking some preventative measures. Sean O’Brien, the Teamsters Chief, has contacted the White House urging President Biden not to intervene if a strike occurs at the July 31st deadline. UPS has also been training several non-union workers to help fill in if a deal doesn’t go through.

ShipSigma has been following these negotiations closely. With our mission to help you reduce parcel costs and provide more efficient shipments to your customers, we understand the uncertainty many business owners face during these negotiations. Rest assured that we have the resources to help you get the best results, no matter the outcome, upon the July 31st deadline.

Measures UPS Has Been Taking

As mentioned, UPS has been conducting continuity training with several non-union workers. This is a preventative measure to help the company continue serving its customers if there is a labor disruption.

While UPS is taking these measures, they have noted it is simply preventative. They remain focused on achieving a deal with the Teamsters as that will be the best result for both sides and the company’s overall success.

Why These Preventative Measures Are Important

If a deal between the two sides isn’t completed, it would mark one of the largest, if not the largest, strikes in U.S. history. The Teamsters account for 340,000 active UPS employees who provide package delivery services of essential consumer items on a daily basis.

In today’s digital economy, we have seen major rises in online sales of consumer goods. Even essential items like crucial medications are often shipped to doorsteps. UPS wants to prevent struggles for other businesses or hardships for consumers who need critical deliveries.

That said, there are still fears that these preventions won’t be enough since UPS can’t replace all its union workers. Additionally, even with FedEx and the USPS filling in to take on excess packages, there still would likely be shipping delays for some items. After all, statistics show that UPS delivers an average of 27 million packages daily, 6% of the National GDP.

It’s tough to imagine filling in for all that volume when other parcel delivery services also handle millions of mail and packages each day on their own.

Where the Teamsters Stand

The Teamsters’ stance during negotiations involves representing their role within the company’s ability to deliver millions of packages daily. The employee’s dedication to their roles makes such a substantial achievement possible.

Teamsters Chief Sean O’Brien has made it clear in statements that he doesn’t want UPS workers feeling like they’re working a side gig. UPS employs many full-time workers who want to push for better wages, benefits, and working conditions. One of the main focuses remains pushing for a 10% wage increase for all workers.  

Measures the Teamsters Have Been Taking

Just like UPS, the Teamsters have been taking preventative measures. As mentioned, they’ve contacted the White House to urge President Biden and other representatives not to intervene if a strike occurs. This action ensures union workers can achieve a fair deal in this process since the president could seek an injunction to end the strike under the Taft-Hartley Act.

This is simply a preventative measure. The Teamsters are still fully committed to achieving a deal and have stated that would be their ideal outcome. After all, being out of work can be hard on workers who depend on their wages to support a healthy and happy lifestyle for themselves and their families.

How A Deal May Get Done to Avoid a Strike

Ultimately, the stalled talks have everyone looking at a bleak outcome. Many consumers and business owners are worried about what will happen if package delays occur due to a strike.

However, many deals like these are completed just before impending deadlines. We see it happen constantly, especially when both sides feel pressure to make something happen.

UPS wants to continue providing great service to its customers and the communities they serve. The Teamsters would like to remain in work to continue supporting themselves and their families. We may see compromises made to prevent drastic outcomes, so, there is still hope that a deal can be completed.

ShipSigma Has Your Back No Matter the Outcome

Our team at ShipSigma is continuously monitoring these negotiations. We are dedicated to helping businesses ensure their operations experience minimal disruption no matter the outcome upon July 31st.

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