I recently read that UPS and the Teamsters have reached an agreement on many of the supplements to their national contract. Does that mean that the late July UPS strike that people have been warning us about is less likely?
You know how when some people do a puzzle, they start with the less complicated parts first and then tackle the harder stuff?
That’s what’s happening in this case.
Although the supplements you’re talking about are, indeed, part of the UPS-Teamsters contract, they’re just that – supplements. They’re also regional or local in nature, which suggests that they should have been the easiest portions of the contract to resolve. Even so, it’s taken negotiators more than four months to hammer them out.
Meanwhile, talks for the national master contract have only just begun. And unfortunately, it’s anybody’s guess as to how long they’ll take or how well they’ll go.
Could this wind up being like the rail strike, with the U.S. Government stepping in? After all, UPS does handle a huge portion of the country’s parcel delivery.
Probably not. For one thing, rail is protected by the Railway Labor Act as well as Taft-Hartley. For another, UPS is a carrier rather than a major mode, which means that unlike the rail strike which would have temporarily sidelined all U.S. rail transits, parcel delivery services will still be available through other sources if a UPS strike were to happen. (They just won’t be available in the same supply.)
So don’t expect a Taft-Hartley injunction to bail you or anyone else out of this strike. If negotiations stall or fail, it could be coming to a summer near you.
We’ll be talking more about this in our next Viewpoint, so watch your inbox and our blog. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 318.798.2111 if you’d like to weigh the pros and cons of your other parcel delivery options, including regional carriers you might not have considered.