Collective Bargaining 2023: UPS vs Teamsters

Graphic created by Mason Malloy.

As it currently stands, United Parcel Service (UPS) workers will go on strike on August 1st. Over 340,000 UPS workers are members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, more than half of UPS’s workforce which could heavily harm the economy.

6% of the United States GDP moves through UPS. Workers already voted to authorize a strike last month. Union Leader Sean O’Brien said last week that a strike was imminent.

Multiple tentative agreements for numerous aspects have been reached. One that would end the two-tier wage system (workers who worked weekends received less than other workers who did not work weekends).

Other agreements put an end to unwanted overtime on drivers’ days off and established a requirement for air conditioning in fleet vehicles.

However, on July 5th, negotiations have broken down. The Teamsters imposed a deadline for UPS to make their final offer. The Teamsters claim the offer was “unacceptable” and walked away.

UPS claims that made an offer in-line with their historically industry-leading pay. UPS’s annual profits have nearly tripled since 2019, with workers wanting a share. UPS spent a majority of the profit on dividends and stock buybacks, spending $8.6 billion, with forecasts projecting another $8.4 billion to stockholders

In 2018, Union leadership pushed through a deal with UPS that angered many in the Union, leading to a rejection of the hand-picked candidate by the previous leader James Hoffa. Instead, favoring the more combative Sean O’Brien. O’Brien is among a wave of younger, more militant labour leaders, harkening back to the golden age of organized labour.