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Union Officials Blast UPS for Saying Company Has “Nothing More to Give” Workers

UPS workers have authorized a strike if a new contract isn’t agreed upon by July 31.

The UPS logo is displayed on a delivery truck on June 12, 2023, in San Francisco, California.

Negotiations seem to have stalled between the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which is representing UPS workers, and the company, as the latest round of discussions ended early on Wednesday morning with no new agreements made.

The latest development suggests that Teamsters are one step closer to a strike, as UPS workers’ contract is set to expire at the end of this month. The union is seeking better pay and working conditions for workers.

In a press release discussing the latest round of negotiations, the Teamsters wrote that they “unanimously rejected” the most recent package offered by UPS company officials. As a result, the company “walked away” from negotiations at around 4 am Wednesday morning, the press release said.

UPS claimed that it was the union, not the company, that walked away. The company also peddled common anti-union talking points, accusing union negotiators of “creat[ing] unease among employees and customers” and saying their actions “threaten[ed] to disrupt the U.S. economy.”

The Teamsters rejected that notion, and said that the company was disingenuous in stating it “had nothing more to give” to workers. The union also pointed out that workers have been overworked and underappreciated, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, when revenues for the company increased by record margins.

“This multibillion-dollar corporation has plenty to give American workers — they just don’t want to,” said Teamsters General President Sean M. O’Brien. “UPS had a choice to make, and they have clearly chosen to go down the wrong road.”

Over 340,000 full- and part-time employees are set to see their contracts expire on July 31. If a contract is not agreed upon by that deadline, workers will go on strike, with 97 percent of union members voting in favor of such an action in June.

Union officials are seeking higher pay and better working conditions in light of the company’s skyrocketing profits throughout the pandemic, during which workers were not offered pay increases. Although the company agreed to put air conditioning in all of its drivers’ vehicles by next year, UPS workers say they still face grueling conditions on the job.

UPS workers have reported long hours and overwhelming demands from the company — one worker, for example, described working 60-hour weeks regularly, five days a week, and called the demand a “violation of our lives.” Sometimes the company even demands a sixth day of work, that worker added.

UPS workers have also said that they were promised double time in certain circumstances, but only received regular pay when their checks came. Sick day requests are also not being met, workers have said.

Additionally, workers are being overworked on conveyor belts, forced to continue the machine’s operation even when larger packages are being handled.

A strike would likely put a significant dent in UPS’s bottom line. The last time UPS workers went on strike, in 1997, the company lost around $850 million, and several customers took their business from UPS to its various competitors.

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