Tip Sheets

UPS-Teamsters deal a victory for labor, collective bargaining

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Adam Allington

UPS has reached a contract deal with the Teamsters union, averting strike. Union members will now vote to ratify the deal, which includes across-the-board raises for all workers, a new paid holiday, as well as new heat and safety protections.

Arthur Wheaton

Director of Labor Studies, ILR School

Art Wheaton serves as director of labor studies at Cornell’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations (ILR) and says the deal amounts to a big win for labor.

Wheaton says:

“The collective bargaining process worked as designed. The ability to strike was an important part of the process, even when the strike was averted the threat of a strike forces companies back to the table to find a deal both sides can live with. More importantly, the entire US consumer and business base are grateful there were no interruptions in service.

“UPS can continue to provide services delivering about 25% of packages in the US. 340,000 union members can enjoy large raises and better working conditions.”

Ileen DeVault

Academic Director for the Worker Institute, Professor of Labor History

Ileen DeVault is a professor of labor history at Cornell’s ILR School, where she teaches classes on labor and working-class history. 

DeVault says:

“This is a clear win for the Teamsters. Their ability to address so many of the major issues was due in part to their smart organizing during negotiations. ‘Practice picket lines’ across the country apparently put just enough fear in the hearts of UPS negotiators. 

“I think it also sends an encouraging signal to other labor unions such as the Writers Guild, SAG-AFTRA, and Southern California hotel workers, who are also in the midst of contract negotiations.”

Harry Katz

Jack Sheinkman Professor of Collective Bargaining & Director, Scheinman Institute

Harry Katz is a professor of collective bargaining at Cornell’s ILR school.

Katz says:

“The Teamsters got a solid settlement because they have a lot of strike leverage due to: complete union coverage of the company, the company’s inability to operate with strike breakers, the cohesive loyalty workers have to their current leader, and the fact that UPS is making a lot of money and doesn’t want to lose market share during a strike to USPS, Fed Ex and other potential trucking providers.” 

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