Teamsters hold off on strike after UPS counteroffer
Members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and UPS will not strike Friday and are going back to the negotiating table after the delivery company gave the union a new counteroffer amid heated contract negotiations.
UPS offered the Teamsters “a revised counterproposal with significant movement on wages and other economic language” Friday afternoon, the union said in a statement, though it said it was not enough to win the support of Teamsters leadership.
UPS also asked the Teamsters to continue negotiations until July 5, the union said.
“UPS came back with real movement, but it isn’t enough,” Teamsters General President Sean M. O’Brien said in a statement. “After they left the room, our national committee had a long dialogue and the universal consensus was to continue our leverage campaign.”
O’Brien and top Teamsters officials are scheduled to hold press conference Saturday and give an update on the status of negotiations.
The Teamsters did not say Friday if they would agree to UPS’s request to extend talks to July 5.
The union, which comprises more than 300,000 workers, said Thursday that it planned to strike Friday if both sides failed to reach consensus on the “economic” portion of a new five-year contract.
The Teamsters voted to authorize a strike earlier this month as negotiations reached a standstill.
The current contract between UPS and the Teamsters expires July 31 and union officials warned this week that they would go on strike without a viable offer by Friday.
The Teamsters said then they are working to negotiate a new five-year contract with UPS that included “higher wages for all workers, more full-time jobs, an end to forced overtime and harassment from management, elimination of a two-tier wage system, and protection from heat and other workplace hazards.”
UPS previously agreed to add air conditioning to delivery trucks, but the company and the Teamsters have struggled to reach agreements on compensation and benefits.
Some experts have already raised concerns about how such a strike could impact deliveries for a UPS, which said it delivered more than 24 million packages daily last year.
“You’d have supply chain disruption like we witnessed during the pandemic potentially, where you won’t be getting your deliveries,” said Jonathan Gold, vice president of supply chain and customs policy at the National Retail Federation.
“Those who are relying on next day, two-day delivery of whatever you buy online or somewhere else, potentially cannot be delivered.”