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UPS, pilots tentatively agree to extend contract 2 years

The union representing more than 3,300 UPS pilots has reached a tentative agreement with the express delivery company on a two-year contract extension, both sides separately announced late Tuesday. If approved by rank-and-file members of the Independent Pilots Association, the deal will ensure UPS and its customers of uninterrupted deliveries related to labor issues through Sept. 1, 2025.

UPS (NYSE: UPS) said terms of the updated contract include annual wage increases and enhanced pension benefits. Details will not be disclosed until the proposed contract is presented to all UPS pilots. A majority of UPS’ pilots must ratify the deal for it to go into effect. Voting will begin July 12 and conclude Aug. 3.

UPS and its flight crews are operating under a two-year contract extension agreed to in 2020 and enacted last year that runs through Sept. 1, 2023.

“Our pilots play an important role helping UPS to deliver what matters, particularly during the global pandemic, so we’re pleased to have come to an agreement to extend the existing contract,” said UPS Airlines President Jim Joseph. “Upon ratification, this contract continues to reward our crewmembers for their contributions to the success of the company, while ensuring we are positioned to provide outstanding service to our air express customers.”

The IPA said the tentative agreement was unanimously approved by the six-pilot executive board.

Other U.S. cargo airlines that have concluded long-term contracts with their pilots during the past 18 months include Atlas Air (NASDAQ: AAWW), ABX Air, (NASDAQ: ATSG), Kalitta Air, and Sun Country (an Amazon contractor).

On Wednesday, the White House announced a seventh Operation Fly Formula mission to import baby formula and help relieve a temporary domestic shortage. The flight from Switzerland is scheduled to arrive in Louisville, Kentucky, on June 16 with 44,000 pounds of Nestle Alfamino and Alfaminio Junior specialty formula. The news release didn’t identify the airline, but a Health and Human Services Department spokesperson confirmed it is UPS. Louisville is home to UPS’s global super hub. 

More FreightWaves/American Shipper stories by Eric Kulisch.

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  1. Basic reporting: what is percentage of pilot pay boost? present & future pilot pay? compare with other transport pilots & passenger pilots.
    None is this story.
    Editors need to tighten up reporting.

Eric Kulisch

Eric is the Supply Chain and Air Cargo Editor at FreightWaves. An award-winning business journalist with extensive experience covering the logistics sector, Eric spent nearly two years as the Washington, D.C., correspondent for Automotive News, where he focused on regulatory and policy issues surrounding autonomous vehicles, mobility, fuel economy and safety. He has won two regional Gold Medals from the American Society of Business Publication Editors for government coverage and news analysis, and was voted best for feature writing and commentary in the Trade/Newsletter category by the D.C. Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. As associate editor at American Shipper Magazine for more than a decade, he wrote about trade, freight transportation and supply chains. Eric is based in Portland, Oregon. He can be reached for comments and tips at