UPS cutting jobs in some parts of the country

The cuts come as Teamsters labor contract negotiations loom.

UPS is cutting some jobs in certain parts of the country due to “uneven demand.”

Among those affected are drivers whose schedules include weekend shifts and are paid on a lower scale than other UPS drivers.

Weekend drivers can use seniority rights to move to other locations or work inside UPS facilities at their same rate of pay, rather than be laid off, according to Teamsters Local 804 in New York.

That, in turn, means part-time workers with less seniority at UPS facilities could end up being bumped and laid off.

Teamsters Local 804 said on its website that layoffs of weekend drivers hit three UPS buildings in New York.

Sandy Springs-based UPS said it “flexes” its network throughout the year to meet seasonal demand, and it is “reassigning some of our employees to meet the needs of our business.”

UPS did not identify any job cuts in Georgia.

“This is not nationwide, but only in select parts of the country, in response to uneven demand,” UPS said in a written statement. “We are hopeful that our people will be able to return to their previous positions later this year.” UPS declined to say how many workers have been affected.

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 174 in Washington state said the company announced layoffs as negotiations for certain local supplements to the UPS-Teamsters labor contract began this month.

The weekend driver positions were created as part of the current labor contract negotiated in 2018, but have generated criticism from some prominent union members. Teamsters general president Sean O’Brien, who took the helm of the union last year, opposes the two-tier wage system at UPS and has pledged to eliminate the tier of lower-paid weekend drivers.

National contract talks between UPS and the Teamsters are scheduled to start April 17. The current UPS Teamsters contract expires July 31.