Earlier this year in reaction to declining shipment volumes, UPS said it would be necessary to furlough pilots. In response, the Independent Pilots Association (IPA) presented the carrier with ways in which operational costs could be cut. The result is an agreement on savings of $131 million over the next three years.
Bob Lekites, UPS Airlines president, says, "This is another example of UPS's commitment to its employees and their families. It also shows how a company and its union can work together to achieve a mutually beneficial outcome. We applaud our pilots for making the voluntary commitments necessary to help us protect our business and UPS jobs in this uncertain global economy and we thank the IPA for their leadership in this process."
Although the IPA was not successful in identifying the total amount—it did reach $90 million by the agreement’s original deadline of June 2—UPS did extend the deadline and say there would be no furloughs. IPA will continue to work to produce the additional savings. If goals are reached, the proposed layoffs may be entirely eliminated.
IPA indicates that savings have been produced through such voluntary programs as pilots taking short- and long-term leaves of absence; military leaves; job sharing; reductions in flight pay guarantees; early retirement, and sick bank contributions.
For its part, Bob Miller, IPA president, says, "This is a remarkable achievement. First of all I'd like to thank our pilots. None of this would have happened if they hadn't stepped up to volunteer from every fleet, seat and domicile. It shows tremendous solidarity and compassion for our fellow pilots. Second, I want to thank UPS. They didn't have to go down this road with us. We appreciate their openness to new ideas and their willingness to work with us in finding an alternative solution."