- UPS air maintenance workers affiliated with Teamsters Local 2727 governing are girding for a possible strike owing to an unsettled contract dispute, Reuters reported Monday. The contract dispute has lasted three years.
- Just ahead of the company's shareholders meeting on Thursday, an open letter directed at UPS CEO David Abney will appear in newspapers, detailing the members' grievances, which entail maintaining health coverage under current terms and no concessions. Union members who also hold shares in the company will attend the meeting as well.
- The Local initially sought to strike in November but was ordered by the government to accept mediation attempts instead. Local 2727 falls under the governance of the U.S. Railway Labor Act.
Although no strike is planned at present, a reminder of the possibility is part of the Local 2727's strategy. In order to take further action, the union would again need to request government permission, a step it has not yet taken, nor been granted.
Therefore, there is little reason to worry over an impending strike, though the air maintenance workers have fallen back on the union to support their position. During this second attempt at drawing attention to their situation, they also intend to protest at company headquarters in Atlanta. And while their efforts have no certain consequences at the moment, threats are in the air: according to union officials, if UPS does not agree to keep members’ health plans intact at the next bargaining session, scheduled for May 11 and 12, a second request to strike will be submitted to government officials.
The consequences of a possible strike could cripple UPS' planes and disrupt delivery worldwide, even as the company enjoyed a record-breaking fourth quarter delivering more than 710 million packages. The last major strike, 20 years ago, affected up to 80% of all packages delivered — and that was before the rise of e-commerce.