(WASHINGTON) – UPS Teamsters have voted by an overwhelming 97 percent to authorize a strike, giving the union maximum leverage to win demands at the bargaining table.
The powerful vote allows the UPS Teamsters National Negotiating Committee to call a strike should UPS fail to come to terms on a strong new contract by July 31, when the union’s current National Master Agreement expires. The Teamsters represent more than 340,000 UPS package delivery drivers and warehouse logistics workers nationwide.
“This vote shows that hundreds of thousands of Teamsters are united and determined to get the best contract in our history at UPS. If this multibillion-dollar corporation fails to deliver on the contract that our hardworking members deserve, UPS will be striking itself,” said Teamsters General President Sean M. O’Brien. “The strongest leverage our members have is their labor and they are prepared to withhold it to ensure UPS acts accordingly.”
National negotiations between the Teamsters and UPS began April 17. Union representatives and rank-and-file members serve on the national negotiating committee.
The UPS Teamsters National Master Agreement is the largest private-sector contract in North America. Full- and part-time UPS Teamsters are working in lockstep for a new five-year agreement that guarantees higher wages for all workers, more full-time jobs, an end to forced overtime and harassment from management, elimination of a two-tier wage system, and protection from heat and other workplace hazards.
“This strike authorization vote sends a clear message to UPS that our members are damned and determined to take necessary action to secure a historic contract that respects their dedication and sacrifice,” said Teamsters General Secretary-Treasurer Fred Zuckerman. “Our members are the backbone of UPS, and they are the reason this corporation hauled in more than $100 billion in revenue just last year. It’s time for UPS to pay up.” Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.2 million hardworking people in the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico.