The Teamsters Union has rolled over on the desires of some of its members, overriding earlier votes that continued to delay a new national contract with parcel carrier UPS.
The move, described Wednesday in an internal memo reviewed by The Wall Street Journal and detailed in a story by the paper, took local union leaders by surprise. The Teamsters union said the UPS national negotiating committee "voted overwhelmingly" to declare the new contract in effect.
This means the new contract takes effect on April 25, despite three union locals repeatedly rejecting supplemental agreements to the contract.
In a statement released Thursday morning, the union said the move was done in accordance with Article XII of Teamsters’ constitution. It also said wage increases contained in the agreement are retroactive to last August, while UPS will begin making retroactive contributions to the health and welfare and pension funds immediately. UPS currently owes over $300 million to Teamster members and funds, according to the union.
Both the Teamsters and UPS have been working to implement a five-year master contract that was approved last June, but wasn't supposed to take effect until local unions resolved all outstanding supplements and riders.
The dissident group Teamsters for a Democratic Union has described the move by the union and its President James Hoffa as a “massacre.”
As of Thursday morning, UPS had yet to comment on the situation.
The contract is separate from the one approved in January by Teamsters members working for UPS’ trucking operation UPS Freight.
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