UPS, Teamsters Extend Labor Negotiations to Finish Side Accords

(Bloomberg) -- United Parcel Service Inc. and the Teamsters agreed to extend their current labor contract past its July 31 expiration to wrap up 38 supplemental accords with locals, the union said.

The extension doesn’t have an end date, but negotiators expect to conclude all talks within two months, said Denis Taylor, co-chairman of the Teamsters National UPS Negotiating Committee. Company and union officials reached a tentative master agreement about three weeks ago.

Sealing the labor contract and averting a strike is crucial for UPS’s efforts to compete with FedEx Corp., which uses ground-delivery drivers who aren’t unionized. UPS workers last went on strike in 1997. The Atlanta-based courier is the third-largest private employer in the U.S., behind Walmart Inc. and Inc.

“We are confident in our ability to resolve remaining issues, building on the progress we have achieved,” UPS spokesman Glenn Zaccara said by email Tuesday.

Provisions of the new contract, including a $4.15 raise over the five-year agreement, would be retroactive to Aug. 1, Taylor said on a conference call with reporters.

Delivery drivers will make “just north” of $40 an hour in August 2022 under the new pact, he said. The agreement also adds a new class of drivers who would work weekends, allowing current delivery workers to return to Monday-Friday schedules.

Value Rich

The new contract is “extremely rich in value for our members,” Taylor said. “We believe this resolves a number of issues for our membership.”

The master agreement, which covers about 250,000 workers, has to be voted on along with the supplemental accords. Those pacts, which are tailored for specific locals, take time to reach and are “easily hung up,” Taylor said. The union is still negotiating a separate contract for about 11,700 UPS Freight workers that also expires at the end of July, he said.

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