UPS' Contract Negotiations With Teamsters Union Collapse

The marathon negotiations between United Parcel Service and the union representing its employees over a new contract have collapsed after failing to agree on the terms.

The parties have been on the bargaining table ahead of the expiration of the current UPS Teamsters contract, covering more than 340,000 full and part-time workers, on July 31. The Teamsters have repeatedly stated that UPS members will not work beyond the expiration, while no further negotiations have been scheduled.

A potential UPS strike could cause significant consequences, mainly in e-commerce industry, as the delivery major handles millions of parcels shipped each day in the United States.

In a statement, International Brotherhood of Teamsters or IBT accused that the logistics major walked away from negotiations after presenting an unacceptable offer, which was rejected by UPS Teamsters National Negotiating Committee.

Meanwhile, the company stated that they have not walked away from negotiations, urging Teamsters to return to the table, noting that the union has a responsibility to remain at the table.

“The Teamsters have stopped negotiating despite UPS’s historic offer that builds on our industry-leading pay. We have nearly a month left to negotiate…. Refusing to negotiate, especially when the finish line is in sight, creates significant unease among employees and customers and threatens to disrupt the U.S. economy. Only our non-union competitors benefit from the Teamsters’ actions,” it said.

Amid the heated standoff between UPS and the Teamsters, Teamsters General President Sean O’Brien last weak had warned that a strike was imminent if the company failed to improve its offer on wages and benefits, calling it to be the largest single-employer strike in American history.

The union president has been maintaining the aggressive stance on UPS since he was appointed to the role last year, with a view to forcing the company to share billions of dollars of its pandemic profit with workers.

Earlier in mid June, UPS employees representing the union, had called for a strike on August 1, as soon as the current contract expires, noting that 97% had voted in favor of strike authorization. Of the 450 thousand overall UPS employees, around 325 thousand represent the Teamsters.

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