UPS Employees Okay Teamster Contract

The contract has been negotiated nearly 18 months before it was due to expire, on July 31, 2008. It covers 240,000 full and part time package workers in the US. Not all employees voted for the new pact, as five regional or local supplements were rejected and will require renegotiation and a fresh vote before the Agreement is finalized.

"We are gratified to hear that our Teamster-represented employees have approved the new National Master Agreement," commented UPS's chairman and CEO, Mike Eskew. "Both sides now are committed to addressing any local issues as necessary. This is part of the normal process." The five agreements needed further work are the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) Local 804, Central Pennsylvania Area, Western Pennsylvania, and Local 926 carwash supplements and the Agreement’s Hawaii rider.

Some 190,000 ballots were printed and mailed to active IBT members. In reflecting on the voting Bret Caldwell, Teamster spokesman, commented, “Any time you get two-thirds of members voting in favor of a contract, it’s a strong endorsement,” he claimed. The next goal, says Caldwell, is to get the outstanding supplements resolved.

UPS spokesman, Norm Black, noted that contract supplements have been rejected in past ratification votes, so that this result doesn’t pose anything unusual for the company. Black says the carrier is confident all issues will be resolved and that UPS will be able to meet its target date of January 1, 2008 to have all components of the Agreement ratified.

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