Teamsters “two-man” meeting produces OK for UPS Freight pact
January 07, 2014
UPS Freight, the nation’s fourth-largest LTL carrier, is close to securing a new five-year labor agreement with its 13,000 Teamsters in a deal that the union says will make those workers the highest-paid in the LTL sector.
Movement in these contract talks is significant because the original pact was rejected last summer by a 70-30 percent margin of the rank and file. The two sides went back to the bargaining table and appeared to have hammered out a down palatable to both sides.
Teamster local union leaders representing UPS Freight workers across the country endorsed a new tentative national agreement on Jan. 6. The new agreement provides what the union is calling “major economic improvements” and job security measures at a time when some LTL companies are cutting wages and benefits.
Details of the new tentative agreement with UPS Freight were outlined at the “two-person” meetings, in which two representatives from each local union participated. The endorsement by local union leaders clears the way for a membership ratification vote to be held Jan. 11-12.
Among the highlights of the new deal are:
-$2.50 per hour wage increases during the life of the five-year deal;
-Improved pension benefits. After 35 years of service, pensions will rise to $3,700 a month, going to $3,900 in 2017;
-The current starting salary will rise to $18.75 from $16.10 hourly;
Creation of at least 2,350 new full-time jobs within the first three years of the deal.
-Health insurance premiums will remain free for the basic health plan. Those in a buy-up plan will have their premiums reduced by 10 percent;
-Job protections for road drivers, and a reduction in the use of non-union subcontracting on long-haul routes;
-Obligates UPS Freight to recall all road drivers to full employment within their classification within 90 days of ratification at all terminals where subcontractors are currently used.
More full-time dock jobs;
-Stronger seniority rights, and vacation benefits for military veterans who will accrue vacation time while serving in the military; and
Reduction of health care costs for UPS Freight retirees.
While UPS Freight seems close to securing a long-term labor deal, negotiations continue at the larger UPS package unit. That pact, covering some 235,000 package employees, continues to be hung up over two supplemental agreements covering large UPS package locals.
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