UPS reaches tentative contract with 340,000 unionized workers potentially dodging strike

INDIANA – UPS has reached a tentative contract with its 340,000-person union, potentially averting a strike that threatened to disrupt package deliveries for millions of businesses and households nationwide.

The contract, if ratified, would avert a strike. Voting on the contract begins Aug. 3 and ends Aug. 22.

The agreement was announced Tuesday, the first day that UPS and the Teamsters returned to the table after contentious negotiations broke down earlier this month.

Negotiators reached tentative agreements on several issues but continued to clash over pay for part-time workers, who make up more than half of the UPS employees represented by the union.

The Teamsters called the five-year contract “overwhelmingly lucrative,” adding that it “raises wages for all workers, creates more full-time jobs, and includes dozens of workplace protections and improvements.”

The new contract raises starting pay for part-timers to $21 an hour, up from the current contracted pay of $15.50, and includes catch-up raises for longtime workers. Full-time workers will see their top hourly rate go up to $49 an hour. The agreement also provides for air conditioning in trucks, paid time off for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and an increase in full-time positions.

“Rank-and-file UPS Teamsters sacrificed everything to get this country through a pandemic and enabled UPS to reap record-setting profits,” Teamsters president Sean O’Brien said in a statement. “We demanded the best contract in the history of UPS, and we got it.”