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John Laurenti
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Potential strike averted as UPS and Teamsters reach tentative agreement


UPS and the Teamsters union both announced on Tuesday that have reached a tentative contract on working conditions for UPS’s 340,000 unionized employees. If ratified, the contact would avert a strike that would have been the biggest in 60 years. Voting on the contract begins Aug. 3 and ends Aug. 22.

Part-time workers’ pay was a major sticking point in the negotiations, with many employees decrying the two-tier wage system in the current contract. The new Teamsters leadership called it “unfair,” and that tiered system will end under the new agreement. The new contract also 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 Teamsters called the five-year contract “overwhelmingly lucrative,” and said it “raises wages for all workers, creates more full-time jobs, and includes dozens of workplace protections and improvements.”

Teamsters president Sean O’Brien said in a statement: “Rank-and-file UPS Teamsters sacrificed everything to get this country through a pandemic and enabled UPS to reap record-setting profits. We demanded the best contract in the history of UPS, and we got it.” The agreement also provides for air conditioning in trucks, paid time off for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and more full-time positions, according to the Teamsters.

UPS chief executive Carol Tomé said in a statement: “This agreement continues to reward UPS’s full- and part-time employees with industry-leading pay and benefits while retaining the flexibility we need to stay competitive, serve our customers and keep our business strong.” 

Editorial credit: Jonathan Weiss /

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