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Teamsters, UPS Get an Early Jump on Contract Talks for 250,000+ Workers

Ten months before their contract with UPS is up, the Teamsters are beginning negotiations that will cover the 250,000 workers operating under the current contract. That contract, tumultuously negotiated in 1997 amidst a costly and bitter strike, is what representatives from both sides hope not to mimic. Both parties want a tentative agreement in place by March 31st, 2013.

According to the Teamsters website, there are many issues that need to be covered in the upcoming months if UPS hopes to have a tentative agreement by the hoped-for date:

Teamsters leaders say they want to address the issue of harassment by UPS supervisors and they want an agreement on restrictions on the use of U.S. Mail. For the UPS Freight Division, the use of subcontractors is about 100 percent likely to come up.

The UPS contract is the largest collective bargaining agreement in the United States. In a statement, Teamsters President Jim Hoffa told UPS:

“UPS and UPS Freight Teamsters are the best in the world-they are productive and dedicated. They deserve the best pay and benefits in the industry. We know the company is doing quite well, and so we intend to address protecting and improving their health care, pensions and wages.”

The National Negotiating committee sent proposals to the company that included:

Addressing UPS harassment regarding the use of telematics; poor staffing levels; and retaliation due to accident and injury reports, filing grievances, invoking rights on 9.5 language and other tactics.

Dealing with the expansion of the company’s SurePost service and packages handled by the U.S. Postal Service.

Prohibiting subcontracting of bargaining unit work by UPS Freight.


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