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UPS Preparing for Potential Teamsters Strike Affecting Logistics Freight Customers

United Parcel Service Inc. is telling its customers to make alternative shipping plans in case of a Teamsters strike in its smaller freight division, where unionized workers are set to vote on the company’s final contract offer next week.

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A new labor agreement between UPS Freight, the less-than-truckload unit of UPS, and the Teamsters Union was reached over the weekend, with UPS Freight Teamsters members approving a new contract over the weekend.

United Parcel Service Inc. is telling its customers to make alternative shipping plans in case of a Teamsters strike in its smaller freight division, where unionized workers are set to vote on the company’s final contract offer next week.

Recent developments regarding a new labor agreement between UPS Freight, the les-than-truckload unit of UPS, and the Teamsters Freight National Bargaining Committee over a new labor contract could have ramifications that potentially lead to a strike, or the semblance of one.

There will be no replay of a costly and damaging strike by UPS Teamsters of 20 years ago as the world’s largest small package company and its approximately 265,000 Teamsters have reached what UPS calls a “handshake agreement” on a five-year labor deal that could pave the way for Sunday deliveries. But the costly agreement – which bumps the typical hour wage of a small package driver to just over $40 and drives the per-mile long-haul driver’s rate to 84.4 cents a mile, well above the TL industry average of 55-to-65 cents a mile – can be expected to drive up shippers’ costs.

It’s been a summer of labor success at United Parcel Service. Besides scoring a “handshake agreement” covering 275,000 Teamsters at its small parcel unit, UPS also has a tentative deal for a new five-year Master UPS Freight Agreement that covers about 11,000 Teamsters-represented UPS Freight (formerly Overnite Transportation).

Shippers fearing a replay of a costly and damaging strike by UPS Teamsters of 20 years ago can exhale. The world’s largest small package company and its approximately 265,000 Teamsters have reached what UPS calls a “handshake agreement” on a five-year labor deal that could pave the way for Sunday deliveries.

United Parcel Service Inc. workers have authorized their union to call what would be the first strike since 1997, giving negotiators more leverage in talks to replace a labor contract that expires at the end of July.

It’s an election year and Congress is counting the days until members can get out of town and try and get re-elected. But that hasn’t stopped thousands of Teamsters union retirees from lobbying Congress to solve the looming fiscal crisis regarding their multiemployer pensions.

The Teamsters union, never without internal squabbles and internecine power players, is showing some internal rift in its opening weeks of negotiations with UPS, the union’s largest employer. With job preservation and security top of mind for the union, the Teamsters last month submitted an 83-page opening demand in its National Master contract that covers about 260,000 UPS employees. The five-year contract expires July 31.

In early October, UPS said it was in contract talks with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) on new collective bargaining agreements. And yesterday the Teamsters National Negotiating Committee met to set the bargaining agreements to “fight for the contract we deserve.”

UPS and the IBT are currently working on a five-year contract that is set to expire on July 31, 2018. The organizations have has contractual relationships going back to the 1930s.

The 33 XPO drivers filing for representation were formerly part of Con-way Freight, the less-than-truckload unit of Con-way, whom XPO acquired in late 2015.

As UPS beats Q3 expectations, critical supply chain workers authorize a strike to protect healthcare benefits.

Following the announcement to authorize a strike vote last month, union-represented aircraft mechanics and other workers for UPS made that initiative official today.

The Teamsters said that a strike by UPS aircraft mechanics would halt the company’s global shipping operation, noting that the company delivers more than 1.6 million packages a day during the lead-up to the holidays.