In Washington – ACMA Insider – July 13, 2023

Ashley Howe Insider

Potential Teamsters UPS Strike Approaching, as Union Also Targets Amazon 

The risk of another supply chain disruption is emerging as the International Brotherhood of Teamsters voted by a margin of 97% to authorize an August 1 strike if a new UPS contract is not completed.  The Teamsters represent 340,000 full and part-time employees, and both sides have accused the other of walking from negotiations. 

The current union contract expires on July 31, 2023.  UPS Teamsters workers are currently devising a five-year proposed contract that they claim ” guarantees higher wages for all workers, more full-time jobs, an end to forced overtime and harassment from management, elimination of a two-tier wage system, and protection from heat and other workplace hazards. 

The negotiations have run hot and cold, with the union signaling positive movement as recently as July 2nd. Teamsters President Sean O’Brien announced the agreement to end the dual wage system currently in place for UPS drivers, the end of forced overtime, and the recognition of Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a holiday for UPS drivers.  

Despite this positive announcement, a full agreement has not yet been reached, with overall wage levels and other key benefits still open for negotiation. The union has thusfar rejected any extension of the current contract and the two sides are not currently at the negotiating table.  

UPS surpassed Federal Express in 2022 to become the largest shipping and logistics company in the world.  With a combination of express shipping to consumers for major retailers including Amazon and freight shipping services for manufacturers and other businesses, a strike at UPS would have substantial impact on the supply chain and retail markets.  

“The world’s largest delivery company that raked in more than $100 billion in revenue last year has made it clear to its union workforce that it has no desire to reward or respectfully compensate UPS Teamsters for their labor and sacrifice,” the union said in statements and social media posts.  

The Teamsters are actively targeting retail delivery services as well.  A number of Teamsters locals have launched strikes against Amazon facilities, and the Teamsters have supported state-level legislation targeting distribution centers in Washington, Minnesota, and California. 

Contact Dan Neumann with any questions.