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UPS, Teamsters Reach Tentative Deal

United Parcel Service Inc. and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters came to a tentative agreement on a five-year labor contract yesterday, according to NBC News.

What’s going on: “Union leaders announced the deal midday Tuesday, hours after resuming negotiations following a breakdown in talks on July 5. The handshake agreement must still be approved by rank-and-file union members at UPS to take effect.”

  • The current contract between the parties was set to expire on July 31. Earlier this year, the Teamsters overwhelmingly voted to strike beginning as soon as 12:01 a.m. Aug. 1 if no agreement had been reached.
  • The tentative agreement—said to be worth about $30 billion in total—averts the possibility of a strike, which could have further snarled manufacturing supply chains and significantly affected domestic shipping services.
  • The contract covers 340,000 UPS workers.

What they’re saying: “The deal, [UPS CEO Carol Tome] said, ‘continues to reward UPS’s full- and part-time employees with industry-leading pay and benefits while retaining the flexibility we need to stay competitive, serve our customers and keep our business strong.’” She called it a “win-win-win.”

  • Teamsters President Sean O’Brien said in a statement that the deal “sets a new standard in the labor movement and raises the bar for all workers.”

Why it’s important: “A work stoppage by UPS drivers would have been the largest single-employer strike in U.S. history. A recent forecast by the Anderson Economic Group estimated that a 10-day walkout would cost the U.S. economy some $7 billion, with workers racking up $1.1 billion in lost wages and UPS seeing $816 million in losses.”

Our take: “Manufacturers applaud today’s agreement between @UPS and @Teamsters and thank both parties for working quickly to reach a resolution that provides our industry with the supply chain certainty we need to keep the U.S. economy strong,” the NAM tweeted yesterday following news of the deal.

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