Teamsters Secure Historic UPS Contract: A Victory for Workers Nationwide
In a monumental achievement for labor rights and workers across the United States, the Teamsters Union has secured a historic tentative agreement with UPS, benefiting over 340,000 UPS Teamsters nationwide. This groundbreaking contract is a testament to the power of organized labor. It marks a significant step towards improving these dedicated workers’ working conditions, wages, and overall well-being.
Teamsters General President Sean M. O’Brien expressed the significance of this agreement, stating, “Rank-and-file UPS Teamsters sacrificed everything to get this country through a pandemic and enabled UPS to reap record-setting profits. Teamster labor moves America. The union went into this fight and committed to winning for our members. We demanded the best contract in the history of UPS, and we got it.”
The new agreement stands as a testament to the resilience and dedication of UPS Teamsters, who played a pivotal role in keeping the country running during the challenging times of the pandemic. Their tireless efforts have not gone unnoticed, and this contract reflects the union’s commitment to rewarding their labor.
Here are some of the key highlights of the tentative 2023-2028 UPS Teamsters National Master Agreement:
1. Historic Wage Increases: Existing full- and part-time UPS Teamsters will see an immediate wage increase of $2.75 per hour in 2023, with a total wage increase of $7.50 per hour over the contract’s duration. Part-time workers will receive double the wage increases compared to the previous agreement, resulting in an average total wage increase of 48 percent over five years. Full-time UPS Teamsters will maintain their status as the highest-paid delivery drivers in the nation, with an average top rate of $49 per hour.
2. Equal Pay for Part-Timers: Existing part-time workers will earn no less than $21 per hour immediately, and part-time seniority workers earning more under a market rate adjustment will still receive all new general wage increases. New part-time hires will start at $21 per hour, eventually advancing to $23 per hour.
3. End of Two-Tier Wage System: All UPS Teamster drivers classified as 22.4s will be immediately reclassified as Regular Package Car Drivers and placed into seniority, ending UPS’s unfair two-tier wage system.
4. Safety and Health Protections: UPS will equip all larger delivery vehicles, sprinter vans, and package cars purchased after January 1, 2024, with in-cab air conditioning and cargo ventilation. This is a significant improvement in working conditions for drivers, ensuring their comfort and well-being during their shifts.
5. Martin Luther King Day as a Full Holiday: For the first time, all UPS Teamsters will receive Martin Luther King Day as a full holiday, recognizing the importance of this day in American history.
6. Elimination of Forced Overtime: Teamster drivers will no longer be subjected to forced overtime on their days off. They will have the choice to maintain one of two workweek schedules and cannot be compelled into overtime on their scheduled off-days.
7. Part-Time Priority for Seasonal Work: UPS Teamster part-timers will have priority for all seasonal support work using their own vehicles, with a locked-in eight-hour guarantee. Seasonal work will be limited to five weeks only from November to December.
8. Creation of New Jobs: The agreement includes creating 7,500 new full-time Teamster jobs at UPS and fulfilling 22,500 open positions, providing more opportunities for part-time workers to transition to full-time roles.
9. Unprecedented Workplace Protections: More than 60 changes and improvements have been made to the National Master Agreement, setting a new standard for workers’ rights and protections. Notably, there are no concessions from the rank-and-file members.
This groundbreaking agreement, hailed as one of the most historic in labor negotiations, represents a turning point for workers’ rights in America. It sends a powerful message that organized labor can advocate for better wages, improved working conditions, and greater job security. The UPS Teamsters National Master Agreement is a victory for UPS workers and the broader labor movement in North America.
On July 31, representatives of the 176 UPS Teamster locals in the U.S. and Puerto Rico will meet to review and recommend the tentative agreement. Members can vote on the offer electronically, with member voting commencing on August 3 and concluding on August 22.
As the single largest private-sector collective bargaining agreement in North America, this historic UPS contract demonstrates the enduring strength and influence of the Teamsters Union, founded in 1903, representing 1.2 million hardworking individuals in the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico. It stands as a beacon of hope for workers nationwide, reminding them that unity and determination can lead to transformative change in the workplace.
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