On June 16, 2023, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters published a press release stating, “UPS Teamsters have voted by an overwhelming 97 percent to authorize a strike, giving the union maximum leverage to win demands at the bargaining table.”
Negotiations between UPS and the Teamsters began on April 17 and may last until July 31, when the union’s National Master Agreement will expire. Whether we’ll see a nationwide disruption to parcel delivery beginning August 1 depends on what happens over the next several weeks.
In today’s blog, we’ll talk about the potential UPS Teamsters strike, the possible ramifications for business owners, and how to ensure your company isn’t affected if the strike moves forward.
The Teamsters are America’s largest and most diverse union, representing 1.2 million workers between the USA and Canada. What began as a union championing freight drivers and warehouse workers has expanded across the spectrum to support workers in all industries.
As we mentioned in a previous blog post, the Teamsters are working on behalf of 340,000 UPS employees, demanding that the carrier:
This strike is set to happen on August 1 if a deal isn’t reached by July 31, with Teamsters General President Sean M. O’Brien saying, “The strongest leverage our members have is their labor and they are prepared to withhold it to ensure UPS acts accordingly.”
However, unions often use strike votes as a leveraging tactic in negotiations. In most cases, those negotiations end without a strike.
The Teamsters are determined to secure a 5-year contract for its union members, reflecting their dedication and hard work through monetary compensation and improved working conditions. Teamsters General Secretary-Treasurer Fred Zuckerman said, “Our members are the backbone of UPS, and they are the reason this corporation hauled in more than $100 billion in revenue just last year. It’s time for UPS to pay up.”
If they don’t pay up, businesses may not receive necessary deliveries, and we may start seeing empty store shelves.
If this strike moves forward, it will be the biggest single-employer strike in our nation’s history. A long-term UPS strike could impact the country’s supply chain despite alternative shipping options.
UPS CEO Carol Tomé’s optimism on the Q4 2022 earnings call “that a win win win is very achievable, because we are not far apart on the issues” gives us hope that a deal will be reached before the July 31 deadline. However, preparing for the worst-case scenario’s always a good idea.
If you have been considering switching from UPS, now is an excellent time to evaluate other options. Our team has more than three decades of experience negotiating, structuring, and evaluating your contract continually, typically resulting in a 20-30% reduction in shipping costs.
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