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UPS strike looms August 1 following Teamster vote

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UPS workers are planning a work stoppage in coming weeks amid Teamster-led contract negotiations.

Ninety-seven percent of Teamster members voted to approve a strike that could start as early as August 1, 2023, the group announced on Friday.

The Teamsters represent 340,000 UPS workers nationwide.

If the strike were to occur, it would be the largest single-employer strike in U.S. history, according to NBC News.

The vote comes during contract negotiations taking place between unionized UPS workers and the company ahead of the existing contract expiring on July 31.

The Teamsters say they are fighting for a new five-year agreement to guarantee “higher wages for all workers, more full-time jobs, an end to forced overtime and harassment from management, and elimination of a two-tier wage system,” as well as protection for workers against excessively hot conditions on the job.

Earlier this week, UPS agreed to equip new delivery trucks with air conditioning, but older trucks would remain un-air conditioned. Most of those older vehicles would have new fans installed instead of air-conditioning.

“This vote shows that hundreds of thousands of Teamsters are united and determined to get the best contract in our history at UPS. If this multibillion-dollar corporation fails to deliver on the contract that our hardworking members deserve, UPS will be striking itself,” said Teamsters General President Sean M. O’Brien.

“This strike authorization vote sends a clear message to UPS that our members are damned and determined to take necessary action to secure a historic contract that respects their dedication and sacrifice,” said Teamsters General Secretary-Treasurer Fred Zuckerman. “Our members are the backbone of UPS, and they are the reason this corporation hauled in more than $100 billion in revenue just last year. It’s time for UPS to pay up.”

UPS also issued a statement on the Teamster vote: “The results do not mean that a strike is imminent and do not impact our current business operations in any way. We continue to make progress on key issues and remain confident that we will reach an agreement that provides wins for our employees, the Teamsters, our company and our customers.”

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