Local leaders from the Brotherhood of Teamsters union voted to approve a tentative five-year labor contract with UPS that includes increases to wages and benefits for delivery drivers of all types.
The deal includes new pay structures for full- and part-time drivers, and increases in pensions and other benefits that would affect as many as 260,000 UPS employees. Members are still required to vote on the agreement and will do so next month. Despite the increases, it isn't loved by all.
Full-time delivery drivers will now be able to top out above $40 an hour by the end of the five-year period. The agreement also creates a lower-paid tier of full-time drivers in order to deal with the increased need for weekend delivery capability. The new deal would also add 5,000 new full-time jobs over a four-year period. The contract also includes stipulations that would require certain drivers to work up to 70 hours a week during the holiday season, reflecting the surge in e-commerce purchases in recent years.
Long-haul sleeper drivers will start out at a little over 58 cents per mile, while premium service drivers would start out at more than 84 cents per mile, according to the proposed deal.
“Today’s vote was a very strong indication of the support nationwide from local union leaders, and it sends the national agreement, regional supplements and riders to the members for a ratification vote,” said Denis Taylor, director of the Teamsters Package Division and co-chairman of the Teamsters National UPS Negotiating Committee. “This agreement provides all our UPS members with tremendous gains in wages, benefits and working conditions and excellent opportunities for part-time workers to gain full-time employment.”
Not everyone agrees. The labor deal is not guaranteed to be passed by the rank and file. Some feel that it does not go far enough to get concessions from a company that earned almost $66 billion in revenues globally in 2017. Opponents of the contract contend that a newly created tier of drivers would be an underclass of employee that will have fewer rights and top out at significantly less pay than current full-timers. Some are worried that the cheaper tier of drivers could also undercut available work for the more expensive full-timers. Other issues include what are seen as insufficient raises for part-time drivers and weak pensions for long-time drivers.