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UPS workers vote in favor of authorizing strike

About 93 percent of UPS workers gave their union the go ahead to call a strike. A national pact with the union covers about 260,000 UPS workers, and the current contract expires July 31. It would be the first strike at UPS in decades.


The members' vote "gives the negotiating committees bargaining leverage this week and during subsequent negotiations for the national contract and the supplements," Denis Taylor, a Teamsters director and co-chairman of the bargaining committee said in a statement.

"UPS is confident in our ability to reach an agreement," a company spokesperson responded in an email. "Strike authorization votes do not mean a strike is imminent. The reality is that UPS and the Teamsters have already reached tentative agreements, subject to ratification, on a wide variety of non-economic issues."

The last strike by UPS workers in 1997 lasted more than two weeks. The current bargaining comes as the shipper looks to keep up with demand for e-commerce deliveries by increasing warehouse automation.

The bargaining issues involve pay and work schedules, including expanded service during weekends. UPS started making regular Saturday deliveries last year, and while it has not yet unveiled plans for Sunday deliveries, the union said the company has made proposals to expand weekend services.

Part-time UPS drivers now making about $15 an hour. Full-time drivers currently earn about $36 an hour, or about $75,000 a year.

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