During a hard-fought day at the bargaining table, the Teamsters reached tentative agreement with UPS on three major economic issues — tearing down the 22.4 two-tier wage system, establishing Martin Luther King Day as a full holiday for the first time, and ending forced overtime on drivers’ days off.
The extraordinary gains, each of which have been key issues for Teamsters throughout the yearlong contract campaign, came on the heels of an aggressive public warning from the Teamsters National Negotiating Committee that UPS was running out of time to get a deal.
Earlier Saturday, Teamsters General President Sean M. O’Brien reminded more than 340,000 members at UPS, as well as elected officials, that any continued inaction at the world’s largest logistics company could bring the U.S. supply chain to an abrupt stop.
“Gains made by the Teamsters at the national table with UPS today cannot be overstated. From the jump, UPS knew we demanded an end to forced overtime, the respect to take MLK Day as a real holiday, and the complete destruction of the unfair 22.4 wage system. The Teamsters have achieved these critical tentative agreements for our members,” O’Brien said. “But make no mistake — we are not done. UPS knows we must reach full agreement on other economic issues, including higher wages, within the next few days. As we continue to reinforce, the Teamsters demand that a historic new contract is in place by August 1.”
Under the new economic tentative agreements, all drivers currently classified under the 22.4 system would be reclassified immediately to Regular Package Car Drivers, placed in seniority, and have their pay adjusted to the appropriate RPCD rate.
Drivers would continue to work one of two workweek schedules and could not be forced into overtime on their scheduled days off.
“With enough persistence, grit, and intestinal fortitude, the Teamsters can and will eliminate inequality at UPS,” said General Secretary-Treasurer Fred Zuckerman. “Whether it’s overtime our members don’t want to take, holidays they know they deserve, or equal pay for equal work, if we stay united and commit to protect each other to the bitter end, there is no chance in hell we lose this fight.”
Negotiations between the Teamsters and UPS will continue in Washington on Sunday.