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“Time for UPS to Pay Up”: 97 Percent of UPS Teamsters Vote to Authorize Strike

If the strike takes place, it could be the largest strike against a single employer in U.S. history.

A UPS worker delivers packages on April 29, 2020, in New York City.

In a landslide vote on Friday, United Parcel Service workers represented by the Teamsters authorized a nationwide strike as part of their effort to win a strong contract in ongoing negotiations.

The Teamsters said in a statement that 97% of UPS workers represented by the union voted in support of a strike if there’s no acceptable deal with management by July 31, when the current contract — the biggest of its kind in North America — expires.

The union represents more than 340,000 UPS package delivery drivers and warehouse logistics workers across the U.S.

HuffPost’s Dave Jamieson noted that if the strike takes place, it could be “the largest U.S. strike ever against a single employer, based on the number of workers involved.”

Sean O’Brien, the union’s president, said Friday’s vote “shows that hundreds of thousands of Teamsters are united and determined to get the best contract in our history at UPS.”

“If this multibillion-dollar corporation fails to deliver on the contract that our hardworking members deserve, UPS will be striking itself,” said O’Brien. “The strongest leverage our members have is their labor and they are prepared to withhold it to ensure UPS acts accordingly.”

The strike authorization vote came days after the Teamsters reached a tentative agreement with UPS to require air conditioning in new delivery trucks purchased after January 1, 2024.

But a number of key issues remain unresolved.

The Teamsters said Friday that UPS workers are pushing for “a new five-year agreement that 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.”

Fred Zuckerman, the Teamsters’ secretary-treasurer, said Friday that “this strike authorization vote sends a clear message to UPS that our members are damned and determined to take necessary action to secure a historic contract that respects their dedication and sacrifice.”

“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,” Zuckerman added. “It’s time for UPS to pay up.”

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