UPS Teamsters, the labor union representing 340,000 package delivery drivers across the United States, have approved a strike authorization in the event that a new contract is not reached with the company.
The nationwide strike by UPS drivers has the potential to cause significant disruption. With an overwhelming 97% of Teamsters voting in favor, the union now possesses substantial leverage in negotiating their demands.
This negotiation holds particular significance as it is the first since the onset of the pandemic, and the union believes that their dedication and hard work during this challenging period should be duly recognized and rewarded.
Teamsters General President Sean M. O’Brien expressed his thoughts on the matter, stating, “This vote demonstrates the unity and determination of hundreds of thousands of Teamsters who are committed to securing the most favorable contract in our history at UPS. If this multibillion-dollar corporation fails to fulfill the contractual obligations that our diligent members rightfully deserve, UPS will essentially be striking itself. Our members’ greatest leverage lies within their labor, and they are fully prepared to withhold it until UPS meets their rightful expectations.”
While negotiations are ongoing, one aspect of the contract has already been resolved—an agreement to install air conditioning units in delivery trucks. Izzy Hernandez, a UPS driver of four years, expressed his satisfaction with this development. He noted that the trucks currently lack air conditioning, but they are equipped with heaters and fans that blow hot air—a less-than-ideal situation, particularly during scorching weather.
With the contract set to expire in six weeks on July 31st, the resolution of the air conditioning issue is a positive step forward. However, there remain other matters to address during the negotiations, and these will undoubtedly shape the outcome of the new contract.