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Teamsters warn of strike against UPS in Louisville

Action in response to company’s layoff of 35 unionized administrative and specialist employees

Teamsters threaten strike against UPS in Louisville (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

Teamsters union General President Sean O’ Brien warned UPS Inc. (NYSE: UPS) Thursday that it will strike the company’s Louisville, Kentucky, operations over the company’s alleged firing Thursday of 35 so-called specialist and administrative employees who joined the Teamsters in the fall. 

In a statement, O’Brien said that UPS has until Monday to rectify the situation or else the union will take action. He didn’t specify a resolution, and a Teamster spokesperson wasn’t immediately available to comment.

According to O’Brien, the 35 UPS employees at the company’s Centennial ground hub joined Local 89, one of the largest Teamsters locals representing UPS workers. O’Brien said UPS falsely claimed that management could perform the employees’ work. Local 89 is in the process of filing unfair labor practice charges against UPS over the alleged action.

UPS was also not immediately available to comment.

Local 89 represents more than 2,000 workers at the Centennial hub and more than 12,000 Teamsters at its primary air hub, known as Worldport, in Louisville.

Currently, more than 1,100 Teamsters are engaged in an unfair-labor-practice strike against UPS competitor DHL Express in Covington, Kentucky, the site of the DHL air unit’s U.S. hub.

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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.