Amid a constant negotiation battle for a new contract between the Teamsters Union and the shipping mogul UPS, it has now reached a point where a strike is imminent and quickly approaching. The Teamsters and UPS have been trying to reach an agreement on a new contract, but UPS continued to refuse to meet the Teamsters’ demands. The Teamsters had an ultimatum in place that marked a date on which they would end their cordial negotiation tactic and strike, and they have now reached that point. With the strike now confirmed and approaching, the Teamsters’ President, Sean O’Brien has asked that the United States President, Joe Biden, remain a neutral party in the matter and not get involved between the two organizations.
The current labor contract between UPS and Teamsters ends on July 31st.
The Teamsters Union has announced that they will pull all of their union members from working for UPS after the contract’s end date. This would affect over 340,000 UPS workers with both full and part-time employees in consideration. This announcement comes after the two parties have officially left the negotiation tables as of July 5th.
After negotiations came to an end, the Teamsters union blamed UPS for the lack of reaching an agreement, while UPS claimed the union was dragging their feet. Both organizations have previously been at odds multiple times before, most recently in 1997 when Teamsters union members working for UPS stopped their work, resulting in a UPS shutdown for 15 days. The labor strike at the time resulted in a win for the union, as their demands for a higher hourly pay and more benefits were met. UPS suffered greatly from the two-week-long work stoppage.
What lies ahead for the future of the two organizations is unknown so far.
Because of the fact that the union and UPS have been here before and UPS knows how much loss they suffered as a company due to the strike, it will be interesting to see how long the strike continues before the shipping company cracks.
The Teamsters strike will happen at the same time as an ongoing strike for the Writers Guild of America and the Screen Actors Guild, in which Hollywood writers and actors are striking industry executives. Much attention has been placed on these two strikes, which will likely draw more attention to the Teamsters strike as well, due to the word strike being such a hot topic at the moment.
Oftentimes for strikes of this nature that can affect the national economy, the president will step in. However, the Teamsters have officially asked to be left alone to handle the matter themselves.