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Teamsters union ratchets up pressure in UPS contract negotiations

UPDATED: Wed., June 6, 2018

In this May 9, 2017 photo, a package from Amazon Prime moves on a conveyor belt at a UPS facility in New York. (Mark Lennihan / Associated Press)
In this May 9, 2017 photo, a package from Amazon Prime moves on a conveyor belt at a UPS facility in New York. (Mark Lennihan / Associated Press)
By Kelly Yamanouchi Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The Teamsters union at UPS has voted to authorize a strike if necessary, a negotiating tactic that’s aimed at ratcheting up the pressure in contract negotiations but does not signal a strike is imminent.

The current agreements for the Teamsters at UPS last through July 31. The massive collective-bargaining agreements cover roughly 260,000 workers at UPS, including drivers, package sorters and loaders, operations and dock workers.

The Teamsters said its members authorized a strike, if necessary, by a 93 percent margin. The vote at UPS Freight was by a 91 percent margin, according to the union. The voting was through an electronic ballot with the tally announced Tuesday evening.

“This vote by our UPS and UPS Freight members gives the negotiating committees bargaining leverage this week and during subsequent negotiations for the national contract and the supplements,” Denis Taylor, Teamsters national UPS negotiating committee co-chairman, said in a written statement.

Sandy Springs, Ga.-based UPS called the vote “an expected part of the negotiation process.”

The company said in a written statement it already has reached a tentative agreement with the union “on a wide array of non-economic issues” and is “confident in our ability to reach an agreement.”

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