The Very Real Possibility of a UPS Strike

UPS Strike

As we’ve reported on several occasions over the last month, UPS management, the rank and file members, and the Teamsters leadership are embroiled in a contract dispute that has gone from bad to worse.

While most experts thought the contract negotiations would be difficult, the possibility of a labor strike, especially right before peak season, was not on the table.

But here we are.

It seems that UPS is now preparing for the very real possibility that union members will go on strike in November.

Here’s a recap of how we got to this point:

  1. May 2018: News begins to surface regarding the on-going negotiations between the Teamsters union and UPS. It becomes clear that there is a clear rift between Teamsters management and the rank and file members of the union regarding certain aspects of the contract. The new deal includes provisions for a two-tiered structure for drivers’ wages, effectively inhibiting full-time workers from making getting the same kind of overtime pay for weekend deliveries as they had previously.
  2. June 2018: It is reported that the Teamsters Union management agreed, in principle to the new contract. While it still required a “yes” vote from the membership, the management felt that they would be able to get the vote through
  3. October 2018: The vote did not go as planned; of the members who did vote, 54% voted “no” on the proposed contract. However, the union requires at least a 2/3 majority vote “no” if less than 50% of members vote, a threshold that was not met. As a result, the agreement was put into a state of limbo and the existing contract was extended in order to give the union more time.
  4. November 2018: As the November deadline approaches, there is little indication that union members and leadership are finding a way forward. Preparations are being put in a place for a strike after the mid-November vote.

We are now learning that UPS is, in fact, preparing for the worst.

As of November 1st, UPS will not be picking up any freight volume that is set to be delivered after November 8th. This is due to the fact that, as of now, there is no extension to the existing freight contract in place.

UPS is being “proactive” with customers to ensure that their freight does not get stuck on a truck during the potential strike. 

It seems UPS believes there is a very real possibility of a strike after the vote.

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