UPS, Teamsters reach tentative five-year pact covering LTL unit
Subcontracting likely to be a critical issue as pact heads to rank-and-file.
UPS Inc. and the Teamsters union said today they have reached a tentative five-year contract covering about 11,000 members of the company's UPS Freight less-than-truckload (LTL) unit.
The new contract, which would take effect Aug. 1 once ratified by the rank-and-file, would replace the current five-year compact scheduled to expire the day before. Both sides will likely agree to extend the contract beyond July 31 should the ratification process not be completed by then.
Neither side disclosed details of the proposed agreement. Teamster officials will spend the next few weeks briefing the rank-and-file on the contract's provisions.
One contentious issue is likely to be UPS Freight's on-going subcontracting of driver functions. Ken Paff, national organizer of the dissident group Teamsters for a Democratic Union (TDU), which is often at odds with UPS and mainstream Teamster leadership, estimates that 46 percent of all UPS Freight line-haul work is subcontracted out.
Teamster leadership did a poor job of addressing the subcontracting issue in the 2013 contract, Paff said. The current proposal will likely be rejected unless it includes subcontracting language acceptable to the rank-and-file, he added.
Steve Gaut, a UPS spokesman, said the Atlanta-based company does not publicly release information on purchased transportation across any of its modes. "Since we don't break out that data, I'd think any claim from an unofficial source would be subject to careful scrutiny," Gaut said in an e-mail today.
The tentative agreement was announced at the end of four days of meetings in Minneapolis where meetings were held to hammer out the LTL compact and to discuss the tentative national, or "master," contract covering 256,000 UPS small-package workers that was agreed to late last month.
In a related development, UPS said today it reached a "handshake" agreement on local agreements, or "supplements," covering more than 100,000 unionized employees located in the union Central and Southern regions, known as "conferences, and in Oregon and Idaho. Supplements and riders attached to the national contract must all be ratified by their respective locals before the master contract can take effect.
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