The International Brotherhood of Teamsters and United Parcel Service announced a tentative contract settlement on July 15. The Union had said its more than 210,000 members who sort, load and deliver more than 13 million packages a day at UPS, would strike if there was no deal by the time its current contract expires on July 31.

In a press release following the announcement, union leaders said the six-year agreement will increase wages by $5 an hour and that pension and health benefits will increase by $3.75 an hour. The contract provides for further wage increases if inflation runs above 3 percent annually. The increases represent a 22 percent boost for package delivery drivers over their current $22.10 an hour rate, the Teamsters said.

Other gains include a $1.00 an hour “catch up” increase for part-time workers, health insurance for part-time retirees, a 50-cent an hour increase for part-time workers and creation of more than 10,000 new Teamster jobs through the elimination of subcontractors, and union recognition for job classifications that had been diverted from the union.

The union said it had also succeeded in winning contract language limiting excessive mandatory overtime and supervisors doing union work, as well as improved safety and health protections.

Veteran employees will get generous long-term disability payments under the new contract, while part-time employees who retire will get health coverage for the first time.

The Teamsters union represents more than 210,000 UPS workers, making the new contract the largest private single-employer collective bargaining agreement negotiated in North America this year. The tentative agreement came after nine straight weeks and a marathon weekend of bargaining. The Teamsters National UPS Negotiating Committee unanimously recommended acceptance of the agreement. It will now go to the membership for a vote, with results expected in mid-August.

The author can be reached at pww@pww.org

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