UPS, Teamsters Reach Labor Deal to Avoid Strike
UPS and the Teamsters union representing about 340,000 workers at the package carrier on Tuesday said they reached a preliminary labor deal that includes raises for both full- and part-time workers and narrowly avoids a potential strike that could have started next week. The agreement is worth $30 billion, according to Teamsters General President Sean O’Brien. Workers still need to ratify the tentative deal. Teamsters-represented UPS employees voted to authorize a strike after July 31 if the two sides didn’t reach an agreement. The labor stoppage could have rippled throughout industries like retail that rely heavily on the package delivery giant.
Total Retail's Take: That's a collective sigh of relief you're hearing from the retail industry. A strike by the country's largest shipping carrier would very likely have crippled retail supply chains, leaving companies scrambling to find alternative ways to get e-commerce orders to customers' doorsteps. This sentiment was echoed by the National Retail Federation (NRF), the industry's largest trade association.
"UPS is a major partner of the retail industry, and we're grateful it came to an agreement with the Teamsters without disruption to the marketplace," said Matthew Shay, NRF's president and CEO, in a company release. "The timing of this agreement is critical for consumers and families during the peak back-to-school shopping season. Retailers rely on stability within their supply chains, and this agreement will bring long-term stability, as well as assurance to the millions of businesses and employees who rely on smooth and efficient last-mile delivery.”