A UPS driver makes a delivery on June 30, 2023 in Miami, Florida.

A UPS driver makes a delivery on June 30, 2023 in Miami, Florida.

(Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Teamsters Say UPS Has Simple Choice Ahead of July 5 Deadline: 'New Contract or Nationwide Strike'

"When UPS Teamsters say we're strike-ready, we mean it."

The largest single-employer strike in U.S. history could soon be set in motion if United Parcel Service management does not quickly agree to a new contract that is acceptable to the shipping giant's unionized workforce, which is represented by the Teamsters.

The union reiterated Tuesday that it is fully prepared to call a nationwide strike as the Teamsters' national committee returned to the bargaining table in the hopes of reaching a deal with UPS—whose CEO made $19 million last year—and ending contract negotiations that have dragged on for months.

"When UPS Teamsters say we're strike-ready, we mean it," the union tweeted Tuesday. "July 4 has arrived. And UPS has less than 24 hours to reach a tentative agreement for a new contract. The Teamsters National Negotiating Committee is prepared to work all day, through the night, and into the early morning hours to ensure UPS acts accordingly and a deal is done."

"Will UPS respect and reward more than 340,000 full- and part-time Teamsters, or put itself on the street?" the Teamsters asked.

The union said last week that UPS management agreed to put forth a contract offer by July 5, giving workers over three weeks to vote on any tentative deal.

Last month, 97% of UPS workers represented by the Teamsters voted to authorize a strike if a new contract isn't secured by July 31—the day the current contract expires.

With the threat of a nationwide strike overhanging the talks, Teamsters negotiators have tentatively secured a number of significant victories in recent days, including an end to the two-tiered wage system under which part-time drivers earn $5 an hour less than full-time drivers.

The union also announced over the weekend that it reached a deal with UPS to scrap "forced overtime on drivers' days off." UPS workers have said the company's overtime policy is highly abusive and exposes employees to dangerous heat-related illnesses.

"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," Fred Zuckerman, the Teamsters' secretary-treasurer, said Saturday.

"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," the union tweeted on Saturday.

Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday expressed solidarity with UPS Teamsters as they continue their fight for a just contract.

"These dedicated workers put their lives at risk to deliver goods to homes so the rest of us could stay safe during the pandemic," Bowman wrote on Twitter. "They deserve a fair contract now."

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