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340,000 UPS Workers Prepare To Strike

Local union 767 in Dallas-Fort Worth organized a picket for July 6
Photo: Teamsters | Facebook

UPS workers all across the country are preparing for a strike lest a deal is reached before the current contract expires on July 31, 2023. According to an official statement released On July 5, 2023, by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, UPS walked away from a bargaining table after the union rejected a package they considered didn’t address the workers’ needs. 

In preparation for the negotiations, the union previously authorized a strike approved by 97% of voters. “The strongest leverage our members have is their labor and they are prepared to withhold it to ensure UPS acts accordingly,” said Teamsters General President Sean M. O’Brien in the June 16 official statement

Now, after the marathon contract negotiations failed, 340,000 UPS workers are getting ready for a strike. According to O’Brien, the union and the company could not agree on the conditions and wages of part-time preloaders. 

“What people don’t see are the unsung heroes — the single mothers who show up to work at 4 a.m. in the morning,” O’Brien told CNN. “Those (delivery) trucks don’t go out unless they are loaded. They are working for poverty wages and we need to drive up the starting rates of pay and reward those people that made supply chain solutions happen during the pandemic.”

Among other demands, the union is asking for better and safer working conditions, especially protection from heat. On June 20, 2023, a USPS worker collapsed during his route in Dallas amid the extreme heat that hit the area in late June. While delivering mail door-to-door, 66-year-old Eugene Gates Jr. collapsed and was assisted by a homeowner who performed CPR, but he died at the hospital later that day. The incident led to a change in the Texas USPS schedule for mail carriers.

Since Wednesday morning when the negotiations stopped, pickets have been organized across the country. Local union 767 in Dallas-Fort Worth organized a picket for July 6, 2023. 

On the side of the company Becky Biciolis-Pace, a UPS spokesperson, told FOX4 that the union stopped the negotiations despite the company offering a historic industry-leading pay proposal. “Refusing to negotiate, especially when the finish line is in sight, creates significant unease among employees and customers and threatens to disrupt the U.S. economy."