UPS Teamsters locals in New York City, western Pennsylvania ratify contract supplements

Getting close to the Master (Photo: Shutterstock)

Unionized UPS Inc. (NYSE:UPS) workers in New York City and western Pennsylvania have ratified their respective supplemental agreements to the national contract between UPS and the Teamsters union, bringing the five-year master agreement closer to full implementation.

The actions disclosed yesterday by Local 804 in Long Island City, Queens, and by Locals 249 in Pittsburgh and Local 30 in New Stanton, about 40 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, leave just one local, Local 243 in Detroit, yet to ratify its rider. The national contract cannot be implemented until all UPS locals ratify their respective supplements and riders. If and when that happens, the contract will be retroactive to July 31, 2018.

Local 804, the largest UPS local in the East with 7,100 members, ratified its supplement by a 1,724-441 margin after overwhelmingly rejecting the first offer. The revised proposal included a $400 pension increase, 110 new full-time jobs under language included in the 1997 UPS-Teamsters contract mandating two part-time jobs be combined into one full-time position, and protections against members threatened with termination, according to Teamsters for a Democratic Union (TDU). TDU is a rank-and-file union democracy movement organized to reform the Teamsters.

In addition, the new supplement restores a “Coffee Pay” bonus unique to the local that gives drivers a bonus of 15 minutes per day at overtime rates after they have completed 8.5 hours of work in a day, TDU said. The bonus program takes effect January 1, 2021

In December 2018, the local elected Vincent Perrone as its president, ousting the incumbent, Danny Montalvo.

In western Pennsylvania, the two locals ratified their supplement by a combined 980-221 margin, after rejecting two prior offers by equally decisive margins. The third proposal was approved after more money was funneled into the union’s western Pennsylvania pension fund, meaning no portion of employee wage increases would be diverted to pay for pensions, according to TDU. The third version included other improvements over the second offer, TDU said, without providing details.

The master contract was rejected by 54 percent of the UPS Teamsters who voted. However, under a “two-thirds” provision in the UPS-Teamsters contract rules, a contract is ratified if less than 50 percent of eligible voters cast ballots unless at least two-thirds of those who voted rejected it. About 44 percent of about 209,000 eligible UPS Teamsters voted, and the final tally fell well short of the two-thirds rejection threshold needed for a re-vote.

The contract’s most controversial provision establishes a two-tier wage structure for full-time drivers. Drivers with less seniority would make $6 per hour less than their senior counterparts. Drivers with less seniority would also work hours other than the regular Monday through Friday work week reserved for drivers with more seniority.

That language addresses the 24-7 fulfillment demand being placed on businesses by e-commerce customers. It was also a reaction to, Inc.’s (NADAQ:AMZN) seven-day per week delivery service, offered through its own delivery network and in conjunction with the U.S. Postal Service. UPS has never operated on Sunday.

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Mark Solomon

Formerly the Executive Editor at DC Velocity, Mark Solomon joined FreightWaves as Managing Editor of Freight Markets. Solomon began his journalistic career in 1982 at Traffic World magazine, ran his own public relations firm (Media Based Solutions) from 1994 to 2008, and has been at DC Velocity since then. Over the course of his career, Solomon has covered nearly the whole gamut of the transportation and logistics industry, including trucking, railroads, maritime, 3PLs, and regulatory issues. Solomon witnessed and narrated the rise of Amazon and XPO Logistics and the shift of the U.S. Postal Service from a mail-focused service to parcel, as well as the exponential, e-commerce-driven growth of warehouse square footage and omnichannel fulfillment.