Teamsters union ratchets up pressure in UPS contract negotiations

Credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

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,” said Teamsters national UPS negotiating committee co-chairman Denis Taylor in a written statement.

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

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