Delivery of packages is one of the most important and understated jobs in New York and across the nation. When the workers are union members seeking an improvement in employee benefits, there is a good chance that there will be the need for a strike. Employees should be cognizant of their right to seek a better contract and improved working conditions by becoming members of a labor union. A labor union must also have legal representation to protect its interests.
Employees of the United Parcel Service gave their union authorization to strike as a new contract is negotiated. This would be the first time in more than two decades that UPS workers would have a job action of this kind. The authorization of the strike is not necessarily an indicator that the members plan to take this action but that they will have increased leverage as they negotiate a new contract. The current contract expires at the end of July.
UPS workers are members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. Ninety-three percent of workers came out in favor of authorizing the strike; 91 percent of freight employees did so. The company is increasingly using automation to improve its efficiency. For its part, the union wants the part-time wages to rise when workers start working there.
The case of UPS workers authorizing a strike is an example of how unions can be useful to workers to maximize their benefits, compensation and leverage in trying to improve their situation. To have full protection when a union is negotiating, it is also vital to have a law firm that is experienced in union representation, collective bargaining, and who can help with any legal issue that arises. For unions that are already formed or employees who are considering starting a labor union, having a legal help is critical and should be one of the first steps toward unionizing.