UPS Freight avoids strike, plans to accept new volumes 'immediately'
- UPS Freight will avoid a strike now that its workers voted yes on the "last, best and final" contract from the company Sunday, Kris Taylor, co-chairman of the national UPS Freight negotiating committee, said on a conference call with union members.
- The final tally was 6,935 "yes" votes and 2,067 "no" votes with 83.6% of the union's 10,773 members participating. The result means UPS Freight service will resume, although there may be a ramp-up period. "Obviously there won't be a bid to go to tomorrow, or Tuesday, or Wednesday," said Taylor.
- "We will resume normal operations and will immediately begin accepting new volume from UPS Freight customers," UPS said in a written statement.
When UPS Freight emptied its network last week in anticipation of a strike, the company told customers that the move was "to help you plan to maintain business continuity while we do not have a contract extension." Shippers then had to find a new carrier, and Taylor said some of those customers may not return.
Still, Taylor said that the roughly 12,000 UPS Freight employees affected by the stoppage of service should expect to be called back in due course — though perhaps not all of them
"The company should recall each and everybody by classification, by seniority, by qualification... Members who are not called back should file for unemployment compensation just like any lay-off," he said, noting that many other similar freight carriers are currently hiring.
Teamsters Local 25 member and UPS Freight employee for 12 years Nicholas Mayo told Supply Chain Dive that closing the network and "threatening closure" of the UPS Freight business, as he described it, left voters fearing for their jobs.
"Look, I and everyone else that voted 'no' understood their need to get the freight out of the system protecting the customers' interests, but it was the initial planted threat that caused the about-face creating fear amongst those that knew no better," said Mayo.
The Teamsters' main issues with the contract as it stands approved are around the prevalence of subcontracting and a two-tiered wage system.
Regular UPS parcel deliveries and carriers are not affected by UPS Freight's service suspension or contract negotiation.
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