Washington, DC – Today, June 28, 2023, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters walked away from the national bargaining table and officially demanded UPS exchange its last, best, and final offer no later than June 30.
The Teamsters gave UPS a one-week notice past Tuesday to act responsibly and exchange a stronger economic proposal for more than 340,000 full- and part-time workers. UPS executives couldn’t make it one more day without insulting and ignoring union leaders and rank-and-filers as negotiations resumed on Wednesday.
Despite the Teamsters having reached consensus on 55 non-economic issues with the company on June 19, UPS has continued to seek a cost-neutral contract during economic negotiations. 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 compensate UPS Teamsters for their labor and sacrifice. During the past week, UPS returned an appalling counterproposal to the union’s financial package, offering miniscule raises and wage cuts to traditional cost-of-living adjustments.
“The largest single-employer strike in American history now appears inevitable,” said Teamsters General President Sean M. O’Brien. “Executives at UPS, some of whom get tens of millions of dollars a year, do not care about the hundreds of thousands of American workers who make this company run. They don’t care about our members’ families. UPS doesn’t want to pay up. Their actions and insults at the bargaining table have proven they are just another corporation that wants to keep all the money at the top. Working people who bust their asses every single day do not matter, not to UPS.”
With a deadline of Friday to return a last, best, and final offer, UPS risks putting itself on strike by August 1 and causing devastating disruptions to the supply chain in the U.S. and other parts of the world. Teamsters nationwide overwhelmingly authorized a strike this month by 97 percent should UPS fail to come to terms on a new contract. UPS’s impending failure is one step closer to reality and has the potential to affect nearly all Americans.
“We have an economy today that is reliant on parcel delivery and no one in the game handles more packages per day or provides better service than Teamsters at UPS. Our members are fighting for a post-pandemic agreement that honors the sacrifices they made to keep this country moving during the last several years,” said Teamsters General Secretary-Treasurer Fred Zuckerman. “Time has run out for UPS to give workers that honorable contract. The Teamsters repeatedly told the company from the beginning of this process that there would be no extensions. But UPS has sat on its hands and chosen to turn its back on these workers. Come August 1, it’s going to be damn hard for UPS to ignore us any longer.”
The Teamsters met with UPS negotiators late into last Tuesday night over Article 34 of the union’s National Master Agreement, governing healt, welfare and pension benefits for members. Despite early progress, UPS attempted to move the goalposts at the 11th hour and withhold any additional benefits from the Teamsters, seeking concessionary language instead.
When the Teamsters walked away from the table, UPS agreed to resume negotiations on Wednesday. When corporate executives showed up, they only resubmitted the same proposal for worker concessions under Article 34.
Teamsters represent 1.2 million workers.