United Parcel Service announced Tuesday that it had reached a tentative deal on a five-year contract with the union representing more than 325,000 of its U.S. workers, a key step in averting a potential strike when the current agreement expires on Aug. 1.
“Together we reached a win-win-win agreement on the issues that are important to Teamsters leadership, our employees and to UPS and our customers,” Carol Tomé, the company’s chief executive, said in a statement. “This agreement continues to reward UPS’s full- and part-time employees with industry-leading pay and benefits while retaining the flexibility we need to stay competitive.”
The union, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, reported in June that its UPS members had voted to authorize a strike, with 97 percent of those who took part in the vote endorsing the move. The tentative agreement will now go before the membership for ratification.
UPS handles about one-quarter of the tens of millions of packages that are shipped daily in the United States, and a strike could dent economic activity, particularly the e-commerce industry.
The union had cited the company’s strong pandemic-era performance, with net adjusted income up more than 70 percent last year from 2019, as a reason that workers deserved substantial raises.
It had especially emphasized the need to improve pay for part-timers, who account for more than half the U.S. employees represented by the Teamsters, and who the union said earn “near-minimum wage” in many areas.
Negotiations had broken down in early July, largely over the issue of part-time pay, before resuming Tuesday morning.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.