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Marathon negotiations between UPS and Teamsters to prevent a strike are unsuccessful


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The Teamsters union and UPS had been in a protracted negotiation that ended early on Wednesday morning with both sides accusing the other of leaving the table. No hints of a contract settlement are present.

Due to the July 31 contract expiration, 340,000 UPS employees may walk off the job on August 1. The two parties were attempting to come to an agreement to prevent worried UPS consumers from switching to other delivery providers like the US Postal Service and non-union FedEx.

Even though there is still almost four weeks before the strike deadline, some clients might sign long-term contracts with UPS rivals by the end of this week if there isn’t a tentative deal reached between the two parties, according to Satish Jindel, president of ShipMatrix, a software company that serves parcel shippers. By the end of the July 4 holiday weekend, many in the shipping industry had been hoping for an agreement between UPS and the Teamsters, he claimed.

Regarding the lack of a settlement, he stated, “This is a bad development. “UPS and Teamsters will both pay a price if they don’t shake hands this week.”

Jindel claimed that after the 1997 UPS strike ended, the company was able to recoup 90% of its lost revenue. He claimed that because there are more choices this time, it might only be possible to recoup 70% of its revenue in a strike. In 1997, neither FedEx nor the Postal Service had a cheaper ground delivery option, and the Postal Service was not equipped to handle as many package deliveries. Amazon now offers a delivery service of its own.

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The clock is presently moving more quickly than it did last week, he observed.

The two sides had earlier claimed that they had already reached consensus on a wide range of issues, including UPS’s commitment to only begin purchasing air-conditioned delivery vans—which do not currently have air conditioning—and to retrofit its current fleet of 95,000 vehicles with certain features to lessen the heat in the cargo area. The union said that the extreme heat in the vans puts its members’ safety at danger in addition to being uncomfortable.

The most recent economic proposal from the corporation, according to the union, was unanimously rejected by its negotiating committee. It claimed that the business terminated negotiations.

Sean O’Brien, president of the Teamsters, claimed that this multibillion-dollar company “has plenty to give American workers, they just don’t want to.” “UPS had a decision to make, and it is obvious that they took the wrong path.”

According to the business, it presented a “historic offer” to the union that would benefit the Teamster employees at the business. It declared its willingness to carry on talks and urged the union to return to the negotiating table.

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“Nearly a month remains for us to negotiate. The union must continue to participate in negotiations because we haven’t left the table, according to the company’s statement. “Refusing to negotiate, particularly when victory is within reach, causes enormous disquiet among workers and clients and poses a threat to the US economy. The Teamsters’ activities assist only our non-union rivals.

What’s served up?”
The UPS economic offer and the Teamsters’ demands have not been made public by any party. In order to help UPS extend its delivery service to six days a week from five days, a two-tier wage scale was implemented during the current five-year contract. UPS stated it has already agreed to this crucial union demand. According to the corporation, those who are currently paid at a lesser pay range will be changed to a standard, full-time pay scale with a Tuesday to Saturday work schedule.

The union cites UPS’s recent record profits, which increased from adjusted net income of $6.3 billion in 2018 to $11.3 billion on that basis last year, representing an almost twofold increase over the course of the current contract’s five-year term. Record-breaking numbers of packages were delivered by UPS and other delivery firms as a result of the boom in online sales that began at the height of the pandemic.

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Although UPS warned it is observing symptoms of an economic slowdown that could affect shipments, the company’s profit, revenue, and volumes fell in the first quarter compared to the same period last year.

The corporation allegedly informed union negotiators that it had no further offers, despite the union’s request for the company to make its “best, last, and final offer” so that it can be presented to membership.

In the first three months of the year, UPS delivered 18.7 million domestic packages per day, and it will be challenging to move that amount on other carriers. UPS trucks transport almost 6% of the US’s gross domestic product, the most comprehensive indicator of its economic activity.

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