On Monday, July 10, the Heartland Chapter of Labor United Education League (LUEL) attended an update on the UPS negotiations and potential strike hosted by MN Workers United, a coalition of different unions fighting for labor’s rights in Minnesota. This event was hosted at the United Labor Centre, a building near downtown Minneapolis that is home to offices of many labor unions like the IBEW, UFCW, and others. There was a presentation given by workers from Teamsters Local 638, which represents UPS workers in Minnesota and North Dakota.
The Teamsters gave everyone an update on the current state of negotiations and the material demands of the Teamsters. On the side of non-economic issues, there have been a number of tentative agreements reached concerning issues such as:
- No driver-facing cameras in vehicles, along with no audio recording
- A stop to subcontracting out SurePost packages
- No discipline can be issued solely on technology.
- Reduction of delays in contract grievances to go directly to national grievance panel.
- New package cars will be equipped with AC and fans installed in all current package cars within 30 days of contract coming in to force.
Other non-economic issue tentative agreements (TAs) were shown on a handout given. According to the workers, the current sticking point is economic issues especially pay for part-time workers. While some progress on economic issues were tentatively agreed on, like elimination of the two-tier system of workers working full-time, other issues like part-timers being subject to market rate adjustments that meant they either could or couldn’t pay bills at any given time. The workers there told that the ball is now in UPS’ court, as management can either give them an actual deal they can work with or they will strike come August 1st.
UPDATE: As of July 25th, the Teamsters and UPS have reached a tentative contract agreement. Some of the gains in the contract are:
- Existing full and part-time UPS Teamsters will get $2.75 more per hour in 2023. Over the length of contract, wages will increase $7.50 an hour.
- Existing part-timers will be raised up to no less than $21 per hour immediately, and part-time seniority workers earning more under a market rate adjustment would still receive all new general wage increases.
- General wage increases for part-time workers will be double the amount obtained in the previous UPS Teamsters contract — and existing part-time workers will receive a 48 percent average total wage increase over the next five years.
- Wage increases for full-timers will keep UPS Teamsters the highest paid delivery drivers in the nation, improving their average top rate to $49 per hour.
All Rank and Files members will receive a list of improvements and locals will conduct member meetings and have several weeks to vote on the offer electronically starting August 3 and ending August 22. This is a great victory for the Teamsters and workers. LUEL hopes that this will encourage other workers across the country to fight for fair contracts and wages.