UPS-Teamsters pact takes effect as Detroit workers ratify rider

 Back in the saddle for five more years (Photo:Shutterstock)
Back in the saddle for five more years (Photo:Shutterstock)

UPS Inc. (NYSE:UPS) employees who are members of Teamsters Union Local 243 in Detroit ratified their local rider to the national, or “master” UPS contract on Sunday, April 28, allowing the five-year contract to take effect.

The unofficial vote was 295 for and 121 against. This means that the five-year collective-bargaining agreement goes into effect retroactive to July 31, 2018. The national, or master contract, which covers about 250,000 UPS Teamsters, could not be implemented until all regional and local agreements were ratified.

A number of Teamsters locals originally rejected their respective supplements. However, each subsequently voted for ratification.

The ratification process was unusual in that more than half of all voting Teamsters rejected the master contract. However, under the Teamsters constitution, a contract is considered ratified if less than half of the eligible voters cast ballots and less than two-thirds of those who voted cast ballots. About 44 percent of eligible UPS Teamsters voted, and the margin of defeat fell quite short of a two-thirds rejection.

The outcome sparked calls by some within the Teamsters community for eliminating the so-called two-thirds provision from the Teamsters constitution, and making that effort a top priority.

Perhaps the most controversial language in the master contract establishes a two-tier wage structures for workers not on the standard Monday-through-Friday pick-up and delivery schedule. Those workers will be on shifts that encompass weekend dates, a nod to the proliferation of Sunday deliveries spawned by the growth of e-commerce.

In the past couple of years,, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and the U.S. Postal Service have offered a ground service on Sundays on a limited basis. UPS has never operated on Sundays, and only in the past couple of years began ground parcel service on Saturday.

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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.

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