UPS worker strike edges closer after contract negotiations break down
WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Labor talks between UPS and the union representing its workers, the Teamsters, broke down on Wednesday with both sides saying the other walked away from the negotiating table.
The contract expires at the end of the month and if no deal is reached, workers are poised to strike, which could threaten the nation’s supply chain and the economy.
97 percent of the Teamsters UPS union workers voted to authorize a strike on Aug. 1.
The negotiations are being held up after disagreements over higher pay and better working conditions.
Teamsters President Sean O’Brien said talks broke down after the two sides began discussing part-time wage rates and working conditions and UPS said “they had no more to give.”
“We were prepared to get a deal done,” said O’Brien. “And if we don’t get a deal done and we don’t have a contract July 31st at 12:01 a.m., then UPS chose to strike themselves and our members will be forced to withhold their labor.”
UPS said in a statement, “The Teamsters have stopped negotiating despite historic proposals that build on our industry-leading pay. We have nearly a month left to negotiate. We have not walked away, and the union has a responsibility to remain at the table.”
The last time there was a UPS strike was in 1997. It lasted 15 days and the company lost millions.
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